university of the super committed

vkc


It’s been inexactly one week back in this city of concrete angels, back being a (technically) functioning member of society, and I feel like I’ve been seeing everything through tinted experience-goggles (though never of the wine variety, because Crianza and I are still in a committed relationship and also legality)

Not all bad or great, not even *that* different, just enough to leave a pleasantly funky taste in the back of my mouth.

Some observations:

My friends are really accomplished, specifically successful huggers. Which is good, because if you give me a limp noodle hug, I might feed you an actual limp noodle. (The worst). I was really a bit worried about coming back after 7 months MIA being kinda social media inactive (millenial probssszzzz). Did people forget who I was? Did they really only like the 9 extra inches of hair hanging down my back? Was I #STOKED enough about USC to have shared context to discuss? Of course, none of these mind-niggles actually came to fruition – everyone is lovely and welcoming as per usual, and it is a great cure to post-exchange friendship depression to remember that people are p cool worldwide.

Los Angeles is colder than I recall, and being alone in a ginormous, creaky historic LA home west of Vermont will challenge your squaling-suppression abilities.

Buying espresso in a European frequency is going to bankrupt me in t-minus 10 days.

The UPS monster may have eaten the new mobile device I ordered, but what it didn’t know is that I’ve developed a fondness for the slide-out QWERTY keyboard phone of 2007 I’ve been rocking. Affectionately known as the dino phone, we’re like Bob the builder together and get! the! job! done!

USC students are On with a capital O, All The Time – so much so that I needed to capitalize that middle ‘t’ on the ‘the’. Did that make sense? I’ve spent an entire business course spent on career opportunities and how to perfectly craft your online/written/media presence. I’ve congratulated more than a couple of friends figuring out their futures months/years ahead of time.

My peers are beyond cool, and I am constantly humbled, awed, honored, and proud to be their friend.

But sometimes, you can’t help but compare yourself.

You can’t help but use it as wonderment and motivation and a questionably healthy (?) sense of fire under your chair to try to FIND that which is going to be your FUTURE and bring you CONTENTMENT and MEANING through CAREER. It’s far too much to ask. But sometimes it feels like just enough to ask, and sometimes it feels inadequate to just ask for so little. I’m rambling. I’m thinking, I’m questioning, I’m questioning again, because that is the power of these peers of mine.

And sitting at home, writing this on a Saturday night feels right.

And being back in Los Angeles, feels right.

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fig ricotta honey pizza // home

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It happened!

Almost 3 months later, I am sitting in sunny *northern* California, relishing (and shriveling in) the dry heat, the cool morning air (hello jetlag) and free and available toilet paper. That last one especially.

For a long time, I didn’t really love being home; it wasn’t cool or exciting or college. But the more time I spend away, the more I see this as another destination, and am able to see the true beauty of dear ol’ Danville, its own dry but verdant hills and clean air and manicured-ness. I can’t look past the soccer moms in Escalades though, and could definitely go another couple months without those.

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I have three weeks of countries to recount, and lots of silly insights and attempted photography to share with all 3 of my readers (Hi Pati Atya!), but in the mean time, here’s a lil piece of home in the form of my people (and FOOD).

In Thailand, I was lucky enough to reunite with one of my high school tribe, and it was equally bitter and wonderfully sweet to realize how little had changed between us even though the whirlwind of our young adult years swirled forward. But seeing her made me miss the rest a little (a lot) more, so first order of business was meeting up with my secondary mama, aka my friend Alyssa, and making some füd. If you think I cook, I dabble. She COOKS, and has always been the resident feeder of our crew, making macarons from scratch for our Christmas parties, and whipping up fancy ramen in other people’s kitchens.

Yesterday, she picked me up and told me, quite offhand, of the afternoon’s projects: fig ricotta pizza, and a nectarine galette. Casually.

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In Marathi, we have a couple ways of describing a good cook (food is pretty important to us). My favorite literally translates to “flavorful hands” – that a person’s hand imbue a dish with the flavor of their personality. It’s similar to the idea of baking with love, etc. and I can attest that Alyssa definitely has flavorful hands.

We spent the afternoon baking, giggling, and climbing on apartment balconies for aerial galette shots, and I couldn’t imagine a better first day back. (Also shoutout to techie, fellow giggler and pizza eater Courtney for her musical contributions to the afternoon and holding the pizza out just so, so I could food porn at the proper angle. Oops that sounds dirty.)

[Click through for the recipe]
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