This Has Been May 2013 Edition

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Just as I suspected, this month was very much a rehashing of the beginning of this year. Time spent at home alternating between blogging, watching Netflix, reading books from the library, and not quite knowing what to do with myself. Okay, there was a little more happening overall, but in general that’s what it felt like.

Probably the most exciting thing this month was a short trip to Seattle to visit my friend Allason. We hung out at sculpture gardens, went to the massive REI while on our way to a fancy film festival party (because we’re classy like that), and got to spend some time with another friend of ours. Of course this trip also included late night life decision discussions, accidentally weeding our friend’s backyard garden for two hours, and a very delayed flight. Overall a highly successful weekend.

I also got a chance to hang out with a bunch of old high school friends. Some I went for lunch or rock climbing with, others I met up with for a beach bonfire… which turned into hanging out in the mission after the wind started to get to us. It’s been great to see old friends and catch up on what’s happening with everyone. Some I’ve been keeping up with, others I was surprised by in the best sense. It’s weird to be in a group and slowly discover that I’m the only single gal in the group. How’d that happen? Craziness.

I did manage to get myself together enough to get a motorcycle permit and then to sign up for and take a motorcycle safety course, which I completed last weekend. I will be getting a certificate in the mail withing a week or so and then I can take it to the DMV and they will send me a motorcycle license in the mail. Magic.

For the moment I’ve abandoned my original script projects. I need to find a way to habituate writing and especially writing on stories and ideas. I’ve gotten blogging for the most part, but I need to find a way to consistently work on original stories. For now I’m trying not to beat myself up over it. I am still interested in the ideas and may return to them, but right now they’re not working. (Perhaps I need to find a writing mentor?)

While my story-writing fell through, I’ve been happy with my blog writing. I’m working on some bigger ideas and coming up with some concepts for what I want a redesign to look like. I also posted my first vlog. You can check out my channel here and if you like it subscribe! I’m not sure yet what my initial posting schedule is going to be, but down the line I’d like to put up one video a week.

On the entertainment front I finished The Good Guys and hemmed and hawed for a while deciding to watch Fringe next (other options included Chuck, JAG, and a West Wing re-watch). I finally got around to watching The Cabin in the Woods (review to come), and I’m so glad I did. I’ve also been reading a lot. I just finished Eat Pray Love and am working my way through a few others at once. I’ve made myself an account on Goodreads to keep track of my reading habits. I think I may have accidentally invited my entire Facebook friend list. Sorry guys!  If you’re a member we should be friends.

What have you guys been up to this month?

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From My Lens: Seattle in Pictures

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I wanted to share a few pictures from my weekend in Seattle… you know, about a week late.  I went to visit my friend Allason and we got a chance to hang out with another friend from our high school and see some of the city.  Al has also been an intern for the Seattle International Film Festival, so we got to go to one of the SIFF parties so I could meet some of her co-workers.

These pictures are mostly from the Ballard Locks, and from the Olympic Sculpture Garden.  Allason also took a bunch of portraits of me in the Sculpture Garden, one of which is my new profile picture.

I’ve noticed that I tend to be drawn to geometric shapes that appear in everyday life in my photography.  I like the order that they allude to, while at the same time, there is usually some amount of randomness in the frame as well.  I don’t know what that means for my photography (if anything), but I like the affect.

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What Moves You der Film

 

I didn’t know I was waiting for this until it arrived.  They have just released the trailer for the documentary shot during What Moves You, the Eurythmy conference I participated in last July (read my thoughts).  I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a movie in my life.

When this showed up on my Facebook feed last Saturday I watched it on a loop for a half an hour, doing the movements from the pieces they show, recognizing and remembering the things that went on during that month of preparing and performing; seeing people I knew, and even a clip of myself and getting so excited despite understanding only a small handful of what was said.  I shared it with every social networking platform I have an account with, liked it, subscribed to the channel, and now I am sharing it with you all.

It has been just over seven months since we took our bows on our final performance, but the relationships I gained and strengthened over the course of this program, the knowledge I came to, have made it an unforgettable experience.

Eurythmy is a strange language to speak, but I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the project that is bringing it to a slightly larger stage.

As I eagerly await the next announcement of this movie, I can’t help but wonder in where it will take me.  In many ways it is too soon to tell what taking part in this project has brought me, but I have seen in myself already a better awareness of the world, a pride in what I’ve been a part of, and connections all over the world.

To What Moves You: here’s to the hope that we will all be friends for many years to come.  Here’s to the connections we’ve made and are holding onto.  To where we’ve been and where we’re sure to go.  You are all in my heart every day and I cannot wait for the day when we meet again.  Because of course, WE WILL MEET AGAIN.

This Has Been: August Edition

I started this month half a world away, if you’ll excuse the bad pun (I’ve cashed in way to many airline miles this month).  The month began with the end of What Moves You? which I’ve explained too many times to go on about it again here.  Read my reflection on the program.

The end of What Moves You brought the begining of my travels with Allason.  We galavanted.  I rock climbed.  We watched movies and ate Haribo.  We took pictures on bikes and in front of gazeboes.  We wandered, got lost, and forgot our map.  We accidentally paid five euros for Fanta.  We ate too much pizza.  I lost my hat and gained a parasol.  We took six trains and a bus down to Rome, where we found a way to an airport and waited in two unnessesary lines before spending 24 hours making our way home.

Even though it may have been a bit too much to have been going for what clocked in as seven weeks straight, I’m glad I got the chance to travel after What Moves You.  If I had just gone to Berlin and come straight home I probably would have felt a little jipted.

I was only home for two days at a time this month and sandwiched in between the four days total of San Francisco time was a few days spent in DisneyLand with the fam.  I’ll spare you a second list of things that were done by saying we had a good time, got to see some new things along with the old favorites, and we probably spent too much money.  All a part of the program.

When we got home I had lunch with a few friends (wasn’t able to get in touch with others) and did a buch of errands.  One of these was staring at my three suitcases and willing them to pack themselves.  Honestly though, how did I manage to fill three suitcases to begin with?  I only barely managed this time around.

This last week has been full of moving into my new apartment and getting settled in Chicago.  I’ve moved into a little apartment that I’ll be at for this semester, and am starting to get in the rythem of a new place.  As much as unpacking a ton of boxes can be a rythem.

Postcards

It’s been decided.  Allason and I are bringing postcards back (them e-cards don’t know how t’… maybe not).  When we were galivanting Allason sent probably around ten postcards from our travels to various places in Europe and the US.  We mailed them from the Vatican City post office in Rome like the good little tourists that we are.

While she was writing, I sat there feeling like a bum.  I knew I had people to send cards to, but the act of actually buying postcards and going through the motions of sending them was stunningly odd to me, so I sat there doing nothing.  Well, except for the time I chased after the German couple writing cards to consult them on the phrasing of a thank you postcard.

Now, I’ve decided to be a bit more proactive in the game.  I’m sitting in Disneyland with a small stack of postcards next to me.  I have a list of recipients.  I have a stack of postcards.  I have words (clearly, you’re reading them).  I may even attempt to write a few of them in German (they’ll be very short).

I always scoffed at the postcard racks in souvenir shops.  Partly because they’re in souvenir shops, but also because it was crazy to me.  Who sends postcards?  Why bother?  Postage costs money, and no one gets mail anymore anyway.  That’s the great bit though.  No one gets mail anymore, so postcards a special.  They have reached the status of legend.

A legend I hope will continue as a tradition while traveling and in school.  All this to ask: Would you like a postcard?

On a related note, I want a roledex.  Because I think they are awesome and I want one.  Okay, done.  For real this time.

Home

Out of the over 400 pictues I’ve taken on this trip (which has landed to be just a day over 7 weeks door to door), this one was the first. I took it at the San Francisco airport as a way of starting the pictures that would be taken on the memory card. To be honest, this card is so huge, I don’t think I’ve come close to finishing it, but I couldn’t be happier with the pictures I have taken.

As you likely know this trip has been split into two parts. The first part being What Moves You?, the Eurythmy conference that I spent four weeks attending, and the second part being a trip with my friend Allason down to Rome. I’ve talked about WMY a bit here, and have mentioned my travels in my month preview, but God knows you haven’t heard the last of either.

I feel so blessed to have been able to attend WMY and for being able to travel afterward, but now I am so excited to be heading home. Our flight is today and I am returning to the land of In N Out, burrittos, and barbeque where my phone works no questions asked. I didn’t think I would be, but I’m glad to heading home.

After so long away from home it will be strange to be back. Everyone (within reason) will speak English. No more guessing what’s going on! Constant reliable internet access! I will understand the amount of money I am spending every single time! Most importantly, I will have a long list of memories to look back on of this summer, and for that I am so grateful.

Pray for safe travels and patience as Al and I take on this very last leg of traveling. If you feel like it, pray that there is a good movie playing on the plane (always a worry of mine).

Thoughts on What Moves You

It’s hard for me to write about What Moves You in a coherent fashion. My thoughts and feelings on the program and the people I met there are all over the map lately. What would I even say? Should I talk about Eurythmy? Or more about friendships gained and strengthened? (granted, I’m not sure I can talk about that without getting into how-much-do-I-really-want-to-share-with-the-internet territory) I could always just stay neutral and talk about time spent in Berlin.  But that seems like a cop-out.

When I think about the month I spent at WMY, the dominate feeling is that it was a hard four weeks. I’ve used the word intense to decribe them, and that remains accurate if somewhat incomplete. We were rehearsing long hours, to add to which I was sick a bit at the beginning and injured for a few days near the end. The change and adjustment of some relationships already established was painful. Socially, the influx of people this introvert had to interact with on the regular was exhausting. Linguistically, no matter how hard I tried, nothing I said in my minimal German came out right. The month was filled with frustrations and challenges. And I wouldn’t change a minute.

At the beginning of the program I wished to speak better German. But without acknowledging it, I wanted so much more. I wanted to make connections. Connections in Eurythmy, relationships, and language. And that unspoken wish came true tenfold. As hard as it was, I have grown so much in the past four weeks, and I wouldn’t trade that for all the easy friendships and spa days in the world.

The greatest thing that I will take from spending four weeks preparing for a Eurythmy performance is new knowledge. Knowledge of Eurythmy, people, history, myself, the German language, and many other cultures. I will never forget how we were able to come together and create a space for Eurythmy and for each other.

I think that the true takeaway from the WMY experience will become clear in the next few months. When I return to school I will be able to see how my German has improved. This new knowledge of history and cultures will find a way to crop up in my writing (it always does). Time will show how much my new friends will influence my life as I have no doubt they will. Even if I don’t speak to them daily, all 83 participants will forever be in my heart.

What Moves You? Eurythmie Perfomance

It is shocking to me that we are now a week away from a full Eurythmy performance. I can’t even decide how I feel about it. It’s bittersweet to think about finishing this project soon even though it feels like we just began.

That being said, it is time to begin thinking about the end, and of course with that comes the performance. It feels somewhat silly to me to share the program and project information because I know that my readers (at least those I know of) come from North America. But in the spirit of shameless self-promotion, I am going to share them anyway.

What Moves You?
August 3 and 4, 2012, 8:00 PM
Freie Waldorfschule Kreuzberg
Ritterstasse 78
10969 Berlin
Germany

We will be performing Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (in C minor if that means anything to you).  It’s the one that starts with the big dun dun dun DUUNNN.  You’d know it if you heard it.  The other piece is by Arvo Part and is called Frates.  It’s a strange piece of music, but I’m actually really excited to finally see it coming together.

History of Berlin

When I was younger, we would wonder aloud amonst each other how countries and peoples who were on the losing side of wars and disagreements would teach them in school. How did the South teach the Civil War? What did they say about Hitler in Germany? When someone is “wrong” how do they say that to the younger generation?

But the world isn’t that black and white. There is not always wrong and right in the moment of decision, only what looks right from what you can see of the near future. It is only now that I am here in Berlin that I am able to get the proper perspective to see how these things happen.

In the United States, we teach our own perspecive. We see how World War I leads to the Golden 20’s and the stock market crash brings on the Great Depression. We can clearly see how the United States enters World War II, but it is foggy to us the idea of why the war began to begin with. How the rest of the world also had this progression of World War I, the 20’s, the stock market, and the Great Depression.

A more grown up and (I hope) wiser version of me is beginning to understand how a country can be so willing to try anything to return to normal. After the great depression, the German government was in shambles, opening the door for a new political group, the third reich, to come to power. No one ever told little me how desperate people were for change and how good Hitler was as convincing people that things were going to be better under his command.

Being here in Berlin, I am able to see more clearly how these transitions happened. I have begun to humanize the past, seeing anew the ways that history changes a place, a nation, a people. Here, representing fourteen countries all around the world, I see how history changes the culture and the ways of living. We are all so different, but we are still all the same.

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

I know that tomorrow will worry about itself, but does that mean that I should worry about today today?  After all, today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday.  Yesterday I worried about yesterday, and so today I should worry about today, and then tomorrow I will worry about tomorrow.  Or does that whole bit mean that the days will worry about themselves?  How does a day worry?

Yesterday I sat on a plane and worried that I wouldn’t be able to fill in a customs form properly (What if it was in German? What if they asked for information I didn’t know/have?).  I needn’t have worried.  I didn’t have to fill in a customs form at all.  Today I am mildly worried I wont be able to find the proper ATM and will then have to pay a higher fee to get cash.  Tomorrow I will worry about doing Eurythmy in the heat as it’s quite humid here.

In other news, I arrived in Berlin with no problems.  I was tired and nearly went straight to bed, but I arrived.  Today has involved failing to actually speak German to anyone and finding a Starbucks.  Because Frappaccino is still Frappaccino in German.  Which was great until he asked me what flavor I wanted.

Thankfully I have some time before I may be called upon to speak any German, but in the meantime I’m quite frustrated with myself that I didn’t review between the end of my class in May and now.  It’s not like I was soooo busy.  I just didn’t.  Not that there’s much I can do about it now.  Not much but sit with the other foreigners in a Starbucks with wifi as we all notify our homeland of our whereabouts on our tiny travel sized computers.

Time for some food.  Real food, not coffee food.