Good-bye Summer!

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I’m excited for summer to be over. Fall has pretty much always been my favorite season. It comes with pretty colors, cooler temperatures, and the ability to wear lots of layers.

Now that I’m in the land of perpetual summer, I’ll just have to settle for slightly cooler temperatures. It’s no secret that I’ve been hating the heat here in Los Angeles. I don’t have air conditioning, so I’m dealing with open windows and a few fans. I’m dealing with it by eating lots of homemade popsicles, hiding in air conditioned places, and trying my best not to move.

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Heat isn’t the only reason I’m excited for summer to be over though. This summer in particular has had more than it’s fair share of craziness, and I’m excited that all that crazy seems to be winding down. I started the season in Los Angeles, went back to San Francisco, and then returned to LA again. I’m done moving for a while, and I’m so glad to be staying in one place for a whole year.

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This summer has included some pretty awesome things. I got to reconnect with old friends. I got to spend time climbing, yogaing, and photographing. I got a chance to learn from some truly fantastic people, and get to know some people who I’m certain will become some of my dearest friends.

This summer gave me a taste of what the future could be. Conversations with smart, creative people and growing into my own work and experience. And while I’m excited for all of those things, right now I’m just glad that fall is on the horizon. My last semester or remote learning will give some structure to my life, and (hopefully) the change in season will give me a bit of a break from this heat.

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The best thing I did to help, was actually coincidental. I cut my hair to go along with the #hairforhazel and #itgrows back campaign, and wound up with a cute (slightly uneven) bob. Not only is this fantastic for wearing in general, but this style also fits neatly under my helmet so now I don’t have to worry about my hair getting caught in my helmet or jacket. I donated 12 inches of hair, sent it off last week. I hadn’t been expecting to go short again, but it seems to have worked out to be perfect timing.

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What was the best thing that happened to you this summer? Are you sad summer is ending, or excited about fall?

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Right Now…

Santa Monica

Shifting my life around to fit better in LA. A little nudge in that direction, a little tug here, trying to find the best way that my life fits here.

Planning out my schedule. This fall will be at least one, possibly two internships and 9 credit hours of online course work.

Organizing my finances. Because apparently I’m almost an adult now. Whatever that means.

Trying to get back into the groove of blogging, but I keep running into chronic lateness.

Spending days at a time without leaving the apartment, writing, tooling around on social media, and watching Fringe. A few other summer shows, but mostly Fringe.

Hanging out with one of my best friends who is visiting on her way back to Seattle.  Which involves…

Swimming in the ocean.  Not something I would have done on my own, but a lot of fun all the same.

Printing pictures for the first time on the photo printer I’ve had for over a year. Including some underwater pictures we took at the beach.

Yearning to get back into yoga, and getting excited whenever I see a studio relatively near me.

Wearing shorts and tank tops around the apartment, because it’s too damn hot for anything else.

Hating the heat. My body does not respond well to heat (sunburn, heat rash). I know I chose this, and I’m dealing with it, but I was clearly made for temperate zones.

Eating simple foods to keep the burners and oven off.

Loving my new shorty haircut.  I cut it all off to donate to Children with Hair Loss, following along in the #hairfohazel and #itgrowsback campaign that is happening around the new The Fault in Our Stars movie.

Riding my scooter new around town when I leave the apartment.

Going to fancy LA premiere parties. Like you do.

Describing delicious food as a “good life decision”. In and Out. Watermelon.

Spending less by eating in as much as possible and going to free things. Like sitcom tapings and parties with friends.

Of New Homes and Old Buildings

It’s occurred to me that while I’ve been living here for just over a month, I’ve yet to show off any more than the mirror in my room.  Truth be told, I haven’t taken many pictures since I’ve been here, but that dosen’t mean there’s nothing to see.

So this past weekend I took a photo walk so I could share with you a bit of what my neighborhood is like.  I took many more than these, some of which will be appearing in posts later in the month, but I wanted to share a handful right away.

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A car between where I’m living and the grocery store.  I didn’t even think there were tires until I was looking through these pictures again to put together this post.

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Lots of these ’round here.

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The required feet picture.

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I am in a love/hate relationship with Los Angeles architecture.  Half of it is georgous Art Deco buildings made in the golden age of Hollywood, and the other half is hideous 80’s boulders of buildings.  I really want to get an AIA Guide to the city so I can read up on what’s what and the history of it all.  #NERD

The Science of Creativity

It often strikes me how different my sister and I are.  We don’t look alike, we don’t think alike.  People are sometimes surprised to find that we are even related.  My sister is in her first year of an engineering degree, something that is so far beyond my fathoming that I cannot even think of where I would begin.  We are on opposite sides of the spectrum in nearly every way; creative on one, scientific on the other.

Last weekend I visited the Tech Museum in San Jose.  I went with the primary goal to see the museum’s Mythbuster’s exhibit, which was both awesome, and slightly disappointing.  So many people in for the last weekend of it’s showing made it hard to get close enough to anything.  Poor lighting made it hard to read the explanations   What I found more interesting, was the differences in what I was interested in and my sister was interested in.

The other exhibits in the museum were interesting, some more than others.  I quickly tired of the heavily scientific explanations in some, while my sister spent exorbitant amounts of time at them.  Interactive and musical games and drawings were my favorites.  Things that I could play with.  Perhaps I am not, as we say in my family, the target market.  I liked the interactive because it allowed for creativity to take reign, even amidst the highly scientific intonations surrounding me.

It’s amazing how often the two interact.  The type of creative storytelling that I do is only possible from the technological developments in science and engineering.  Engineers must use creativity to develop new innovations of technology.  The question becomes, how can art and science work together to build the future?

Before that future comes to be, we have a lot to learn about each other.  We need to be patient with each other.  Learning the limitations of each can show us the future we are bound to.  Stretching the limitations of one through the lens of the other is what drives innovation.

I am looking forward to the future.  While we know not what it will bring, it seems to us a blank slate on which to draw whatever we choose.  A slate of the new and the different, however that unfolds.

Around Town: Easter Weekend (2/2)

Donuts.  Look yummy.  Taste less.  Oh well.
Part 1Where did I leave off?  Right.  Sunday.  So, while the farmer’s market may not be a tradition, Easter Sunday Resurrection Rolls most certainly are.  Basically they are sugar dough wrapped in marshmallows and when they bake the marshmallow melts leaving the dough hollow on the inside.  Yummy, but almost too sweet if such a thing exists.  Tradition I will carry on to infinity?  I think yes.  Just as soon as I lean how to make them…

Anyway, church this year was a combined service at Davies Symphony Hall. <dork> It was amazing! I always hate that they don’t let you sing in concerts, but since this was church I could sing all I wanted.  Sweet.  We sat in orchestra which was indescribably cool other than that I was taking a picture before we started and then a man sat directly in front of me.  </dork>
I am purposely not talking about the camera debacle, but there was one, and these will be the last pictures from this camera for a while.  </idontwanttotalkaboutit>
After church we went home to change clothes and then went to go see/participate in Bring Your Own Big Wheel.  Basically, it’s a “race” down one of the steeper hill in the city that includes around seven hairpin turns.  I went down on a tiny plastic motorcycle which was awesome, but did not have a way to steer.  Let’s just say I didn’t win in the traditional sense.  Or in any sense really.  There’s a reason there are no pictures of me in the race.
Home.  Dinner of yummy food that I appreciate more and more the longer I have to feed myself.  The rest of the day was uneventful which was actually probably not good considering that I had (have) so much work to do.  It’s beginning to be time for mantras and all-nighters.  I cannot even describe how much I’m not looking forward to that part.In unrelated news I am still somewhat stunned that I had to break this up in to two posts.  I probably didn’t HAVE to, but on some level I’m kind of impressed with myself for being able to eek this out for content… I mean.  I could have…  It was…  I talk too much.

By the way: church was at Davies Symphony Hall.
No big deal.
Sister Emma’s pic: Mom at BYOBW.
Sister Emma pic: Me and my not very big wheel.
Sister Emma pic: Trying to get through the BYOBW crowd.

Around Town: Easter Weekend (1/2)

San Francisco airport.

So, in all the craziness that was the past few weeks I completely forgot to share pictures of going home for Easter.  It was absolutely lovely.  I got to see some of my favorite people and do some of my favorite things.  Just enough to tide me over until summer… granted, now “summer” is in two weeks, but still.

I flew in on Thursday night after a crazy day full of Freq Out rehearsals and worrying about getting to the airport.  Thank goodness I got there early because I then found out that my gold status expired last month, so I’m back to being a regular old passenger.  Poo.  I did get to use my backpack for this trip though.  Even if it was probably a bit of overkill.  It’s good to use to practice with.
Friday I went to yoga class with my mom.  It was… well, it wasn’t the first time I’d done yoga, but I think the last one was a fluke, so this one was better.  Granted I was not at all prepared for it clothing-wise.  Which doesn’t explain how I was completely prepared gear-wise for an impromptu climbing session with some youth group friends after the Good Friday Tenebrae service (which was inexplicably held at noon).  Just go with it.
To say that the Saturday morning farmers market is a family tradition might be a bit of a stretch, but it is by far my favorite Saturday breakfast and everyone in my family knows it.  So usually, when I’m there for breakfast they indulge me and we go for a farmer’s market breakfast.  Not that they hate it, but I get the sense that when I’m not around they typically go to sit down restaurants with waiters instead of pigeons to take away the leftover food.  Yeah.
In the afternoon I went out to lunch with Trevor & Co. in the sunset.  Just the beginning of the long list of people I miss terribly when I’m away.  We then trekked out to Stonestown for browsing and wandering, waiting far too long for a bus.  Ahh Muni, predictably unpredictable.
Of course then there was Sunday… but this post is getting quite long, so I’ll stop here and make this part one of two.  Who knew I was going to have so much to say about a weekend.
Waiting to be picked up.

Pretty lights
Dad at the Farmer’s Market.
Emma, before her wanting to kill me stage.
Trevor with the bright red hair.
Taking a picture of myself in the mirror — lent is over so I can use mirrors again.

Around Town: Friends and Newness

The Embarcadero at Christmas time.

Just a collection of pictures taken over winter break.  Soaking up San Francisco, spending time with friends, and getting ready for the newness of the coming semester.
The roommate took me out to sushi.

Waiting for the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

Around Town: Climbing SFMoMA

I’ve got climbing on the brain.  After a trip to Sports Basement last week all I can think of is when I’ll get a chance to climb again.  I haven’t been since October, and I’m really itching to go.  This lead to a lengthy discussion of instillation piece that’s in the atrium of SFMoMA with my Grandpa.  I’m still a little puzzled as to the exact logistics of how it was done, but I think it’s one of the coolest things there.

Of course, the exhibit we went to see, on Richard Serra’s drawings, was no photography allowed.  I was a little ticked, but it was still a great exhibit.  Richard Serra is one of my favorite artists, because he forces you to experience his work, not just see it.  This showcase of his early work was a bit different then what I’m used to, but it was beautiful nonetheless.  One room in particular had two black canvases stretching to the ceiling.  When you enter the room completely you can feel the walls grow around you.  So cool.

These pictures are just general around the museum pictures.  Mostly the aforementioned instillation piece, and the sculpture garden.

Around Town: Old Friends

Friends come to town and good things happen.

I feel woefully inadequate for creating this post now as opposed to when it happened just over a week ago.  Part of the reason for this of course is that I took no pictures.  I am horrible at remembering to take pictures when clearly pictures should be taken.  Though that’s not to say that the weekend wasn’t documented.  There were many pictures taken, just not by me.  (Pictures can be seen on my roommates blog HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE)  But regardless of the lack of pictures on my end, we all had a blast.

He was in Chicago to look at a school (I don’t want to say which one because I haven’t actually told him that I’m writing about him) that he may be coming to next year.  In Chicago!  Near me!  I’m trying not to be super excited about this, because I know college admissions can be tricky, but nevertheless I am very excited about the possibility.

Long story short the weekend was filled with staying up late, getting up early, eating out, the Girl Scouts (more on that in a later post), playing Nintendo in Wicker Park, wandering the city, good conversation, and frozen yogurt.  I wouldn’t change anything.

It was strange to see him here in Chicago since I’m so used to him being in San Francisco.  Very strange.  Fun, but odd at the same time.  I miss him a lot since he’s still in San Francisco and I’m here in Chicago, but that may change next year (*maniac grin*).  Of course all these people visiting this month has gotten me extremely behind on my chores and some of the homework things I should have been doing, but that’s only half relevant, so we choose to ignore it.

Around Town: Austin

So, in keeping with tradition, I will do a post on my weekend trip out to the Austin neighborhood for my InterVarsiy chapter’s retreat.  I feel like I should put a disclaimer here that this isn’t a normal “Around Town / Around the World” post in that I didn’t go to Austin for a vacation like the other places I’ve written about so far.  Also, I am notoriously bad at remembering to take pictures, and since the weekend was so short I have no pictures whatsoever.

Now that all is out of the way let’s get down to it.  I went to the Austin neighborhood with a handful of other members of my school’s InterVarsity chapter.  We meet up with a handful of students from DePaul University’s InterVarsity chapter as well.  On Friday night we spent time getting to know each other, eating way too much cheep, off-brand candy, and talking about what God is doing in Austin.

And God is doing so much.  Austin is a neighborhood that was radically changed in the 60’s with white flight and is now a heavily black neighborhood where a significant percentage (I don’t remember the number) of the population is living under the poverty line.  I struggle sometimes with how I should be dealing with race in my daily life and this retreat was occationally uncomfortable in that I was usually the only white chick there.

Being the minority is a switch for me as in most other places I am the majority.  I was a good experience for me to be the one that looks out of place.  My school is big on diversity and is always bragging about our amount of diversity, but I find that it isn’t mentioned much outside of the admissions process and the office of Multi-Cultural Affairs.  The thing is though, that we are all broken people.  “Black”, “white”, “red”, “brown”, “yellow”, what-have-you, we are all broken somehow by the pain and hardships that come with living.

The amazing thing is the community that grows when people are in such tough situations.  On Saturday I went with a small team to a local church and we helped them with cleaning their sanctuary; sweeping, mopping, cleaning bathrooms and polishing pews.  I learned that the church building is nearly a hundred years old and was built as a catholic church.  The current owners of the building are a Baptist church, and they’ve been there for 18 years.  The church congregation has been meeting in some fashion for nearly 50 years in the same neighborhood.

Saturday night we went out for Soul food (am I spelling that right?), and debriefed with each other talking about what we’d done in the afternoon.  Once again we ate too much food.  This time it was more nutritious than candy.  That night I sang hymns because I freaking love hymns.  Love ’em, love ’em, love ’em.  Apparently this is abnormal for a person my age.  I don’t even care.  I could also talk for a very long time about stained glass windows, but I’ll spare you.  For now.  I feel like there will be a post about one or both of these subjects at some point in the future*.

My love of hymns was actualized even more so when we sang a few in church Sunday morning.  I was in awe of the love and peace that surrounded the church.  The sermon talked about a lot of things, but the part that especially stuck with me was the mention of tithing.  I needed that reminder and still do as I figure out my finances for the rest of the school year half based on the atypical month of September.  Which is now October and feels to be very officially fall.

The chill in the air followed me back all the way to the Loop as the whole lot of us took the green line home again, home again.  Beginning again with “normal” life was a bit of a strange experience.  There was homework to be done, dishes to be put away, and Doctor Who to watch (Umm, guys?  Doctor Who? Anybody?).  Good-bye Austin.  You’ve taught me much, and I wait to see what else I have to learn.  Thank you for letting me stay, and bringing me back.

*But I also promised a post on farmers market meals and an “Around the World” post for my Denver / Boulder.