Midnight Impulse

learning experiences and impulsive decisions


Big Change

So I’ve been packing up and de-cluttering and getting ready for my college move.  That’s right, Addie’s getting a higher education!  At Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, with a major in journalism, to be exact.

I’ve been thinking about this whole move–leaving high school, the city I’ve been living in for the past seven years, my parents–it’s bringing a lot of change along with it.  So wouldn’t it make sense that this blog changed too?  For the first year in a long time, I feel like a more positive person than ever before, and I want my blog to reflect that.  The majority of my posts consist of bitching and in-depth descriptions of bad days.  It’s time that changes.  I’m going to update the blog into a positive platform more in-tune with who I’ve become, documenting change in a new city.

Empty Space is Beautiful

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An Anti-Minimalist at Heart

A Clockwork Orange Minimalist poster

Minimalism: clean and sanitary, akin to a psychiatric hospital.  Think A Clockwork Orange.

Minimalism: it's futuristic, it's clean.  This Her

Minimalism: futuristic and simple.   Think Her.

Minimalism: it’s a style of dress, graphic design, and architecture.  But the idea that has caught my attention and remained in my mind for some time is the minimalistic lifestyle.  I was purging my bedroom of the crap I’d collected for seven years, trying to make packing for college easier, and watching “college essentials” videos on Youtube for vocal and visual company.  In the suggested section beneath one video were several relating to minimalism: “Becoming a Minimalist” and “The Minimalist Packing List” caught my eye.  The former was a video of a girl, channel name Ng OS, who had just began de-cluttering her over-stuffed bedroom.  The latter, by Danny Dover, turned out to be a more extreme approach to the lifestyle–Danny lives by the 100 item lifestyle.  The concept wasn’t new to me.  I’d first heard of it years ago from an old Youtube crush of mine, Alex Day, however, I never knew it was a lifestyle other people actually practiced.

It is an inherent belief of many minimalists that you don’t own your possessions, rather your possessions own you.  The point is that, by ridding yourself of unnecessary material possessions, you are both physically and mentally letting go of a heavy load.  You are less attached to “your” inanimate objects and thus are free to travel and are not as upset for losing your things (e.g. getting robbed, natural disasters, etc.) as badly as someone with a lifetime of material possessions.  As much as the challenge intrigues me–I DID take on veganism for nearly six weeks for absolutely no animal-rights reasons–I just cannot wrap my head around this one.  You would be giving up a lot of your things.  Minimalists live with a tiny wardrobe, very specific electronics, and no collections what-so-ever.  This means getting rid of your books, CDs (if anybody else still buys those), accessories, most of your clothing, your childhood blanket…you keep the 100 items you need most in the world.  We live in a time where doing this is easier than ever: keep all your books on a Kindle, all your music on your multi-functioning iPhone, and back up all your writing on iCloud through your computer.  But what about those of us who still enjoy the experience of a paperback?  How about the writers who can only get their thoughts out on paper?

But to what extent?  Empty walls are depressing

But to what extent? Empty walls are depressing

I’m all for regular de-cluttering and avoiding impulse buys, but as a lifestyle choice, I feel this proves too extreme for me.  The night I watched those videos, I took an estimate of everything I owned.  I thought it was possible that I may own only 500 items.  I counted.  The number increased.  The more I looked around the room, the more things I found to count.  It wasn’t just the number of clothes I own, I also needed to include the number of clothes hangers.  Each of my electronic items came with a charger, so those had to be counted up as well.  Eventually, I reached an estimate of nearly 1000 items–TEN times what a minimalist would live with.  Most of these things were not in use on a daily, weekly, or even a monthly basis.  The majority of things I have have not been touched since the day I bought them.  Books I haven’t had the time to read, but will “someday;” CDs that I obsessively collect, import into my iTunes, and stack up on a table, never to be touched again; clothing that doesn’t currently fit but surely will … someday.  I realised I don’t even apply any of the makeup I own.  It was a phase that started at 14, but at 17 I’d decided face-painting is both a hassle to apply and a hassle to wipe off.  Since my count-up, I’ve continued to rid my room of clutter.  I gave away the board games I never play to my siblings, took out several bags of clothes out of my closet, and gave away oodles of accessories along with a large, stackable accessory box (I do prefer to hang them on a jewelry stand: I like visually seeing what I have).

Regardless, I continue to mull over extreme minimalism.  It has its merits: by ridding a person of visual clutter he is rid of mental stress.  However, it doesn’t cater to the majority of lifestyles.  Consider the experimental cook, with his pots and pans and pantry-full of spices; the parents of an ever-growing new born, constantly having to get new developmental toys and bigger clothes; the creative artist, with a multitude of mediums for all her different projects; the collegiate student, with his band T-shirts and endless notebooks and textbooks for each of his classes this semester.  For most people, it is impossible to live with 100 items.

The white walls are suffocating

These white walls are suffocating

As was my conclusion after six weeks of being a vegan, I feel that minimalism is a restrictive lifestyle that doesn’t suit me.  Anything that deprives a person of certain joys–such as parmesan on your bolognese pasta or a prized first edition novel–is something I cannot agree to permanently implementing into my life.  To a certain extent, it’s all right to allow yourself to be happy with what you have and what you can have, so long as it isn’t damaging to your health or putting you in debt.  I like my clothes and I love to accessorize.  The order in which my CD pile is stacked is a visual representation of the evolution of my taste in music for the past six years.  I like reading a physical book.  I like art, whether decorative or of my own making.  Perfume is my signature.  When I see myself not putting these items in use, I give them away.

I conclude that I am a moderationist.


What I took away from all this

Despite refusing the 100 item minimalism challenge, I do have a newfound understanding of materialism (this is where one of my favourite movies comes in: Fight Club).  Don’t keep the things you don’t use–don’t buy them in the first place.  Rid yourself of the hoarder’s mentality and empty your closet.  If you cannot yet bear to throw something away, put the item(s) in a box and keep it in your closet.  After a few months, you’ll find yourself completely disentangled from the emotional attachment to the object.  Continue getting rid of things while making use of this “out of sight, out of mind” technique until you are satisfied with the lack of things weighing you down.  As Tyler Durden teaches us, owning everything we think we need is not making us any happier.


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I came back from my trip to St. Petersburg a couple of weeks ago.  My recap of the trip follows.

We stepped off the airplane into far warmer weather than we’d been told to anticipate.  A tour guide met us at the airport, bussing us through the dreary road to our hotel.  Once there, we checked in, dumped our luggage in the rooms, and went off exploring.

A day of walking followed by a day of intense touring gave way to the anxiously awaited MUN conferences.  We were ushered into the spirit of political debate with an opening ceremony held at the Tauride Palace, which, like most buildings in St. Petersburg, is a renovated and repurposed palace.  The Tauride held its first parliamentary session in 1906.

Little by little, the auditorium seats were filled with the students from all the participating schools.  Each represented country sent one of their delegates to the podium to make the country’s opening speech.  Afterward, we were taken to the hosting school, Gymnasium 157, to have lunch and begin lobbying.  Resolutions in hand, we sat down at each of our different committee rooms and began debating.

The second day of MUN was focused on committee sessions, where each of us went to our respective locations (one was placed in the International Business Center and others at Gymnasium 157 while I, being in the Environmental Committee, was sent to the Youth Environmental Center), whereupon we debated and amended points on the submitted resolutions from the previous day.  The final procedure of the day was to choose the most interesting of the passed resolutions to submit to the General Assembly (GA) session to be held the next day.  By a house vote, the resolution on the question of the integration of migrant children won out.

On the third and final day, all participating delegates once again met in a large auditorium, this time at the International Business Center.  After a long day of intense debating, the Environmental Committee’s resolution was passed by majority vote.  Exhausted of the intensive three-day MUN curriculum, we were finally free to go back to discovering the city and enjoying our free time.

The next two days, Thursday and Friday, were filled with more group tours.  Over these two days, we began to notice that the hotel lobby was no longer filled with the bustling of students and their chaperones as the participating schools dwindled down every day, returning home or going to tour Moscow.

Our last two days in the city were spent sight-seeing.  We visited the brightly and intricately decorated Spilled Blood Church; had an educational walk-through of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s apartment, led by the most enthusiastic—and surely the author’s biggest fan—tour guide; took a detour with my friend Skillet and lady chaperone to a self-guided tour of Vladimir Nabokov’s home; explored the Hermitage Museum; and took a trip to Catherine’s Palace situated in the outskirts of the city.

Highlights of the trip included our intimate dinners at the hotel after each busy day followed by a movie held at the girls’ room (a suite for three); getting abandoned by the tour bus at the St. Isaac’s Cathedral; sprinting through the impressionism gallery of the Hermitage; Our male chaperone’s group photos, group selfies, and jumping pictures; and lastly, finding Soviet propaganda-inspired postcards at the airport.

The close-knit atmosphere amongst my fellow MUNers and myself guided by our fantastic and experienced chaperones led to the best school trip yet.

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Almost All Packed Up

I’m off to St Petersburg for my MUN trip tomorrow morning.  I’ve been up in my room packing for an hour and a half, and so far all I’ve got left is the last-minute packing like toothbrush and computer.  I’m excited for the trip part but sort of nervous about the MUN meetings themselves.  I don’t feel as well prepared as I was last year, nor as knowledgable.  My resolutions aren’t that fantastic and I’ve already set my mind on not trying to get them passed but rather spend my time debating points and making speeches in favour of or against amendments and resolutions.  I didn’t speak much last year so I figure I should this time.

We have a really busy trip chock-full of sightseeing and dinners, plus the three days of the actual MUN meetings.  I had all my outfits planned out and written down, so packing this time was a breeze.  The only tricky part was the fact that we’re not sure what the weather is like.  The forecast says it’s fine weather (from -2C to 10C) but then there’s pictures of very light snow.  We’ve been told to dress warm and bring our winter gear.  I hate winter trips.  They’re always heavy and bulky and seem excessive.

Anyway, I’m going to be in Russia from Saturday to Saturday, so I’m staying there a week.  I will be sharing a room with my friend Skillet and another girl, Pasta.  There’s four boys coming with us and our two teacher chaperones.

I should be off to sleep, I have to get up at 4, be at the airport at 6, and fly at 8AM.

Goodnight everyone and see you sometime,




I got into university today!  Well, my second uni.  I got my acceptance to Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts and on Monday I found out I’d gotten into, drum roll please,

Emerson University!  This one was probably the one I had the highest chances of getting into but was still stressing over because I knew that I would be absolutely heartbroken if I hadn’t gotten into it.  It’s the perfect school for pursuing journalism or any writing-based major.  I’m also really excited because I got the half-tuition scholarship (as well as getting accepted into the Honours Programme) so this makes Emerson the cheapest option as well as the most academically-satisfying.

I’m still waiting on Boston University (results coming this Saturday), NYU, and Concordia U in Montreal.  I’m so excited!  It has only hit me now.  Emerson sent out an email inviting all accepted students to the freshman page of 2014.  It’s super cute, with all 1200 (as of now) accepted freshmen posting their “about me” sections, discussing favourite music, hobbies, and activities they excel at.  Maybe you’ll find me there😉

On a separate note, I’m off to St Petersburg in Russia this week, from Saturday to Saturday–It’s the Model United Nations trip (for which I’m still writing my second resolution and policy statements like … right now.  We finally got our visas and I’m excited, plus it’s a fantastic time to visit Russia right now (isn’t ALWAYS a fantastic time to visit Russia?).  We will be attending the SPIMUN conference along with (apparently) another 450 delegates.  The neurotic that I am, I’ve already prepared my packing list and will be going last-minute clothes shopping tomorrow.

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with schoolwork.  I was hoping to have things a bit easy this next month, but I’ve got my 30-page research paper to draft and complete, yearbook is picking up pace and needs to be finished, I have novels to read, this trip to take, a university-visiting trip later in April, and then my two AP classes to finish and study for for the May AP exams.  That plus online Latin I, in which I’m still on unit 1.  I’m so fucked.  I need better time management and perhaps less sleep (ironically, my AP Psychology class warns against purposeful sleep deprivation).

The greenhouse my friend and I got for the school has sort of turned into a disastrous project.  A local company came to the school and built it in three or four days but due to the high wind in the area, the plastic covering has been torn and ripped off the metal structure.  Along with the teachers we picked to guide us through the process, we–are–pissed.  The quality of the building was nowhere near what we expected and does not correspond to the price we paid for the structure.  The dream-turned-nightmare has become the subject of hysterics from other students who’ve seen it and a source of absolute embarrassment for me.  We called over the company today and they came and checked the thing out and decided on a second plan to rebuild it properly, so I’m really hoping that works out better than the last time.

I should be off to start my homework (40 minutes before midnight, of course).

Maybe I’ll rename the blog to Midnight Homework.  Midnight Procrastinator?  Midnight Assignments.  Hm🙂

Off for now,


P.S.: Those of you applying now, have you heard back anything from your universities?  I really want to find people to share a boat with here😛

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Up When You’re Down

I’m constantly having to remind myself that I don’t matter.  It’s not always that I’ll have someone there to ask me what’s wrong, much less have someone analyse the reasons that I may be upset.  I live too much in my own head.  I’m just going to have toughen up, suck it up, and keep that trembling chin up before the world has a chance to beat me down.

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Off the Vegan End, Part 2: The Diet

I’m going vegan for the duration of lent!  In a BBQ-obsessed country!  With minimal soy products!  Sound scary yet?

Lent, according to the Catholic calendar, started on Wednesday.  Today is my fourth day on it.  No huge temptations or major slip-ups so far.  Last week, I was terrified of the lack of food I’d be allowed to eat.  I researched and researched recipes and foods that I could eat.  A majority of my searches yielded soy-based meals.  The problem?  The Republic of Armenia does not stock much soy products.  Aside from soy milk, soybeans are no longer imported and tofu is nonexistent.  Don’t even ask about soy cheeses and meat substitutesAs I previously mentioned, I’m not doing lent for religious reasons, but rather for personal ones:

1) I needed a reason to stop eating the greasy and overly carb-focused school lunches

2) I wanted to see for myself if being vegan is as awful as I condemned it to be

3) Going vegan would force me to learn how to cook and rely on myself for sustenance

And the added bonus, 4) I’ve noticed that I started losing weight.

Something red, something green, something leafy, something lean


The day before I started my diet, I went to the supermarket.  Tuesday is as good a day as any to stock up on vegetables.  And behold, vegetation there was.  As silly as it sounds, I never realised the abundance of options available to me.  Turns out, nature has a lot to offer by way of non-animal products, even here, where fruits and vegetables are only seasonally available.  I grabbed whatever caught my eye: something green, something red, something leafy, something lean.


I decided that everyday, I’d make dinner for two and eat a portion of it that night and save the rest for the next day to eat at school.


Day 1

Except mine was without the dollop of sour cream.  And hold the dill, thank you very much.

Except mine was without the dollop of sour cream. And hold the dill, thank you very much.

My first day of lent, I took a bowl of borsch, which is a Russian beet soup, along with some bulgur to school with me.  In the morning, I had a yellow apple.  That night at home, I got fancy making myself dinner and packing the next day’s lunch.


Day 2

On my second day, I had faux bolognese wraps.  I used this recipe for making the bolognese sauce, ditching the Parmesan cheese and substituting the beef for a mix of jumbo white and oyster mushrooms.  With a bit of spicing and herbs, the bolognese sauce smelled just like the real thing.  On the side, I had an orange and arugla salad, having added walnuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, and dried blueberries to the mix.  I think I had a banana in the morning.

At home, my mom, who is also doing lent (as she has been since she was my age), had made falafel, so I made a sandwich out of those with tomatoes and onions.


Day 3

Since we had Friday off this week, I didn’t have to bother preparing my lunch from the day

before.  Instead, I took my time making vegetable broth.  I’d been looking at a lot of recipes that require some sort of stock, and since I’d never seen

any sold at supermarkets here, I decided to make some myself.  The recipe is very low-maintenance; it just requires you to chop up the veggies and throw them in.  While cooking that, I realised just how fantastic a mix carrots, onions, and celery really are.  I ended up washing and cutting up some more and then made an onion, leek, celery, carrot and mushroom stir-fry with spaghetti.  Serve immediately, topped with tahini.  I also made that same orange and arugla salad before the leaves went bad.

On this day, my chocolate cravings were acting up.  I was getting a little tired of eating peanut-sugar bars (the ex-Soviet nation equivalent of nut bars) and

sesame paste.  Then I found this recipe for vegan brownies😀  While waiting for those to cook, I also made some fruit salad.

On Friday, I had a dinner date with some girl friends.  We were going out to have sushi.  Thankfully, I’m not the only one going vegan in the country.  Many go on lent in Armenia and restaurants and cafes start offering menus that accommodate the demand.  I ordered miso soup, an avocado roll, and a vegetable roll.  For dessert, we went to a bakery that served vegan napoleons.  Foodless, irritated guest avoided🙂

That sums up my meals for the past few days.

Thanks for reading,

∆ Adelaide