Sunday, July 3, 2011

In which I pose as a squirrel, and consume cheesecake (not at the same time)

Salut from NYC :)

I got here on Friday morning, and will be here until next Sunday. I'm staying at my grandparents' house with my mom, and my little sister will join us on Thursday, after she gets back* from her two-week hiking trip in the mountains of North Carolina. She leaves on Sunday, too, but instead of taking a train to Boston like all the cool kids (I can be cool, I promise) is taking a plane to California, where she'll go to nerd camp at Stanford and become best friends with Jeremy.

*In theory. No one has heard from her since she started hiking, since she has no phone or Internet access up in the mountains. Apparently, there are lots of bears in the area, so she could theoretically have been eaten by now and no one would know.

So, that's my sister. Before I say anything about me and what I've been up to, it's very important that you read the following five reasons why my grandparents are awesome.

1. This evening, my grandma accidentally referred to a plate of salad as "salmon" and laughed so hard she was basically paralyzed.
2. My grandpa's study (where I'm sleeping) is LINED with books, 99% of which are about economics (the other 1% are big sets of encyclopedias.) He's 84, and has been working for the National Bureau of Economics since he was 18, which is when he graduated from Columbia. He had heart valve replacement surgery last year and went back to work as soon as he was out of the hospital, which nearly made my mom crazy.
3. My grandma's study (where I'm sitting now - I have no choice, since there's no wireless Internet here) is also lined with books, 90% of which are about math (glancing behind me, I see "History of Mathematics", "The Pythagorean Theorem", and "College Calculus with Analytic Geometry", among others); she was a math professor, before she retired. When I was nine, I asked her to teach me Calculus, and when my dad scolded me for "bothering" her she scolded him right back. I quote: "WILLIAM! She's a math lover, and math lovers of all ages deserve to be exposed to the beauty of Calculus!" Win. Anyway, the other 10% of her books are sort of miscellaneous; I see one called "Great British Wit" and another by Stephen King. Earlier, I asked her why on earth she had a book by Stephen King on her shelf, and she said she wanted to know why he was so popular. Um...okay, grandma.
4. They own me (and everyone) hard at Scrabble.
5. They met at a music club, when he was 17 and she was 16. In his words, "I was sitting there, when suddenly a very lively girl walked in..." AWW <3

Okay, so maybe that was more along the lines of 50 reasons condensed into 5 numbered points. Whatever. I should also mention that these are my mom's parents; my dad's parents are busy being awesome on the other side of the planet, somewhere near the equator.

Now! What I've been up to. My grandparents' house has no wireless Internet, which is a little frightening for someone like me, who compulsively checks her e-mail every five seconds. Withdrawal symptoms include (sorry for all the lists - I like lists, in case you can't tell):

1. Reading entire Agatha Christie novels in one sitting (Dear Poirot: I want your brain, but not your moustaches. Love, Anna) - I went through a crazed Poirot phase a couple years ago and read all 34 of the books, in order.
2. Consuming enormous quantities of ice cream (the place we go to lets you have as many different flavors as you want, in one cup - a dream come true for indecisive me)
3. Writing at least one journal entry per day, which is something I try to do but usually fail when the Internet is around to distract me.

So, not the worst withdrawal symptoms in the world. Also, a few of my London friends are in town (Megan, Sophia, and Max - giving names just so it's easier to refer to them) - Megan and Max have internships, and Sophia lives here, since her family moved after we all graduated. I met up with Sophia and Megan yesterday; we hung out in Sophia's apartment, catching up over bubble tea and cheesecake, before eating dinner in Chinatown. During the course of the afternoon/evening, the following hugely embarrassing picture of me was taken - I added a label to help you all out, since I recognize that there might be some confusion over who the actual squirrel is.

Yup. It's a proud moment when you realize that you look more like a squirrel than an actual squirrel.

Tomorrow, Max and I are hanging out at Megan's house in Bronxville; there are plans to go swimming (good thing I DIDN'T bring a swimsuit) and it'll be nice to spend some time with them.

I guess that's about it from me - I'll post some more in the next couple of weeks, and end by saying that I miss you all a TON (and am sad that I won't be back on campus as soon as I originally thought) and that I hope you all are having wonderful summers. À bientôt :)

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