Heyhey my Divas-in-training! If you’re like me, you’ve been hard at work day in and day out, and you’re probably looking for some kind of a break. Hey, I don’t blame you! We all want some time to relax and enjoy some free time. Well…you’re probably wondering “But wait Brendan, what exactly does a Diva do with spare time?” Obviously the number one answer any Master Diva would tell you: “Get that heel training in!” High heels aren’t easy, but practice makes perfect! Well anyway, that’s not what this lesson is about. Actually, this lesson is about something different…probably the number two answer to that question…and the answer is: Indulge. Hey, you work HARD for the money and everyone is entitled to a break. So lemme tell ya ’bout it. So here we go, strap on those training tiaras and get ready, cause this week’s lesson is “Diva Lesson #5: Indulge.”
All last week, I was counting down the days to the weekend. It was our first feel week of classes and you KNOW I was feelin’ it. But hey, we’re here in college to work, and that’s what we do. So anyway, last week was a big week in my family. It was my parent’s anniversary, my dad’s birthday, and my sisters birthday. All of these events within one week of each other! Cray-cray, I know. But life works in mysterious ways. As part of this extravagant celebration, my parents decided that they would come up to visit me, along with my sister, for the weekend. So, on Saturday morning, my parents came and picked me up from New Paltz. We had a small debacle where we all ended up running circles around Parker Quad looking for each other, and it was kind of hilarious. Eventually, we all met up and I went with them to the neighboring town of Gardiner where we would be staying for the night.
The place where were staying was an apartment above someone’s garage. It was a giant room with a bed, futon, and couch, along with a TV set, refrigerator, and a small but nice bathroom. The home was gorgeous and it even had a heated pool, a hot tub, and a sauna along with a mountain view. It was wonderful. After we dropped our things off, we drove down the road and got some sandwiches and other food to have a picnic in the mountains. We then drove down to an area of the Mohonk Preserve where there was a little waterfall and we ate our lunch. Then, we drove further down the road to a second area of Mohonk and took to the trails! We did some hiking through the mountain trails, and then some serious rock climbing as well. As you can imagine, I wasn’t particularly prepared for this, and wasn’t exactly thrilled about this rock climbing situation. Still, I went along with it, and after I did it, I felt pretty accomplished. It ended up being really cool and the view was spectacular from the top of that area up high on the rocks. Also while we were hiking, we ran into a woman and her family. Funny enough, the woman recognized me. She was one of the people in charge of International Orientation and she recognized me from working with me since I was an Orientation Leader this summer. This just furthered the lesson that you will be recognized as an Orientation Leader wherever you are…even on the side of a mountain. We chatted with her family and ended up descending the mountain with them as well. It was a charming afternoon.
After we left the Mohonk Preserve, we went back to the house to compose ourselves and get super classy for our evening ahead of us. We ended up going to dinner at the French restaurant inside of the Culinary Institute of America. The campus there was so beautiful and when looking at the map, I realized that all of their residence halls were named after different spices which I thought was hilarious. The restaurant was phenomenal. I had a seafood crepe, aged pan seared beef, and flour-less chocolate cake with hazelnut ice cream. The food was all so wonderful, and the atmosphere was great as well. While at dinner, my family had time to relax and catch up with each other. We talked about all kinds of things, and I updated them on what’s been going on in my life lately in more detail, since it can be hard to do so over the phone. Once we were done there, we went back outside and the campus was beautifully illuminated, and there was a gorgeous fountain right outside of the main doors. We drove back to the house for the night, and we all just relaxed for the evening. My mom and sister even took advantage of the facilities and took a dip in the hot tub! I was super tired though, so I just hung around the room and went to sleep.
The next day, we packed up all of our things since we would be leaving that day. It was my sister’s birthday too! She turned 21. We started out the morning watching reality TV (Top Chef: Just Desserts, in case you were wondering) and we ate cookies that my dad bought downtown. Then, we got the car all loaded up and headed out to breakfast at the Plaza Diner. It was weird being there during the day, because generally Stephen, Jen, and I go there really late at night. But hey, a little change up never hurts. While we were there, my sister opened her birthday gifts. My parents bought her a Nook Color, and I got her a gift card that she could buy things for her Nook with. I placed it inside of a Little Mermaid card. I figured it was fitting. After that, we went down to a nearby apple orchard and we picked apples for a while. I was picking all of the biggest one and had a really heavy bucket. We walked all over that orchard looking for the best apples. Fruit selection should be taken very seriously! I picked about 19 pounds, and my sister got about 14-15 pounds. That’s a ton of apples. Once we left there, we made a stop at my sister’s friend’s place. She just transferred to New Paltz and lives off campus, so she invited us over to take a look. The place was very small, put perfect for her needs and very cute too. Still though, it made me think about how glad I was to still be living on campus. I don’t think I’ll ever move off.
Finally, it was time for them to leave. They dropped me off back on campus with all of my things, including a ridiculous amount of apples, and my magazines. Magazines are essential. You need to keep yourself updated! Mark Sanchez is on the cover of GQ, Armie Hammer is on the cover of Details, and Kate Moss is on the cover of the phenomenal and over the top 758 page tome that is the Vogue September Issue. I live for this. Once I was back on campus, it was right back into the regular routine. Homework, Avant-Garde staff meeting, and then straight into the week with interviews (more on that in Extra Credit!), club meetings, homework, classes, quizzes, and other such things. This week, I had nine of my students all with birthdays within ten days of each other. Insanity I say! The week actually went by very quickly though, and I can’t believe it’s Thursday night already.
As I sit here typing, awaiting my 8:00 meeting with the Chairs of the NACURH Advocacy Committee, and then the first A Capella show of the semester at 10:00, I can’t help thinking and reflecting upon the fact of how important it is to treat yourself. You need to take care of yourself above all else. It can really help you get into a better frame of mind just to take a step back and do something that is either a lot of fun, or that you really enjoy. Sometimes, an escape can be the perfect remedy when you’re feeling stressed, sad, or just need a serious time out. This past weekend was the perfect example of this principle….and believe me, I indulged enough for all of you! Do not ever hesitate to enjoy yourself and indulge because hey, let’s face it! You’re a Diva, you deserve it! That’s why the lesson for this week is “Indulge.” You are now free to engage in your own person guilty pleasure. Enjoy!
Extra Credit: Earlier this week, Jen, Rose (also known as Lil Fabz), and I were sitting in our Feminist Art and Culture Class, and suddenly we heard “Only Girl in the World” playing from someone’s phone before class started. It was hilarious.
Also: This week, I had my interview for a spot as a delegate to go to NEACURH later this year. It went very well and I found out today that I got the spot as a delegate! I’m very excited and can’t wait for all of the preparation to begin for the conference.
Finally, New York Fashion Week has been going on. The lines from all of the designers have been pretty flawless. Spring 2012 looks very promising. Be sure to check them out on the Vogue website or something! They’ll leave you gagging on eleganza!