Feels Like Home: Work Space

As I am only just now getting to the point where I feel like I’m living in this space instead of just inhabiting it, I want to take some time to show how I’m using it.  Since the whole apartment isn’t ready to be shown yet, I’m going to be doing this in stages.  Today the part that’s ready is my works space.

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The entire wall to the left side upon entering the apartment is taken up by a long table that serves as a media space and a desk/work space.  I never work and watch TV at the same time, so my desk being so close to the TV isn’t a problem.  I love the way it looks when I come in, clean.

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On the media side I’ve got a cart (it was in the coffee table section of the store, how bizarre, right?) loaded up with my printer and all the devices to hook up to the TV.  I love that all my electronics are on a cart that I can pull out when I need to use the copy function on the printer or re-arrange the cords in the back.  Makes my life that much easier.

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On the desk side of things these drawers are slowly filling up with knick-knacks and office supplies.  In general, the top drawer is pens, chargers, and other often used items, down to the bottom drawer of envelopes and “bulk” extra items (more business cards, box of pens, ect).

The pillow was a gift from my grandma because she heard I was going to go to London to do study abroad…. Well, that was the plan.  It moves around and is sometimes swapped with a city-scape one I have that’s the same size and shape.

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Currently on my desk top I’ve got my laptop and mouse, my journal and phone, my planner and notes, along with a water bottle and a cup for water.  I always try to have water on hand while working, that way I don’t have to get up.  Just planning ahead.  And planning for the rest of the week.

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Lastly the stuff on the wall above the desk area.  This will change and evolve over time, but for now there’s not much to see.  A cool looking logo from a company my class toured (top left), and a sticker from a speaker (bottom, snakes).  I’ve got a “Come Back For Me” notice from the LA county shelter (more on this later in the week), and my American Airlines info is covered with a white post it.

The Want/Will/Wont list guidelines are derived from this episode of Sexplanations (awesome web series, check it out).  It’s a system of figuring out what you are looking for in a situation and then something to consult when making decisions (I’m not explaining this well, watch the video).  The Ideas/(?)/Understand/Summary chart is a new system of taking notes I’m trying.  We’ll see how it goes.

The table is a desk from IKEA.  The cart is also from IKEA and is listed as a coffee table.  The TV and Blue-Ray player are from Best Buy.  My printer is an Epson Artisan 730 I got on sale at Staples.  The blue basket and the lamp are from Target.  The chair is from a thrift store and the London pillow, backpack (Osprey‘s Flap Jack Pack), and my Roku were given to me.

Studio Tour

The recordist in me wants to be sure that every step of this process of moving was recorded. The blogger in me looks at all the pictures of an empty apartment and doesn’t quite know what to so with it. And so we come to this post, a combination of the two, sharing pictures of my apartment before the boxes and flat-paced furniture.

It looks much different now, though still unfinished. I’ve put together the furniture, went to get more of it, and finally called the cable company to hook up the TV, but here it is in all it’s white-washed, empty glory. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll have a new, put-together apartment to show off

I love my front door. The frame around the peephole was there when I moved in, and I adore it. I’m still contemplating a name for this apartment, and I’m considering “The Framery” based on the front door.

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When first coming into the apartment you see the windows and exposed brick wall (and my mom, hi mom!), two of my favorite things about the place. To the left is the kitchen, on the right is the walk-in closet, and bathroom. Now we’ll go left.

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The door to the kitchen. This is probably the wall that I will put my desk and TV up against. I’m envisioning a really long table sort of desk that I can put the TV on one side and do work on the other, with some sort of storage under the TV. I’m not sure I’m describing this correctly, and I’m not sure this piece of furniture exists, but I’m searching.

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Into my tiny kitchen! So far I’m uncertain about the tile counters, but in love with the double welled sink. Not as deep as the one in my last apartment, but still awesome.

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Shot, reverse shot, the kitchen from the other side. I’d like to turn the space by the window into a dining area, but the refrigerator may need to be moved to… next to the stove? There’s not really anyplace else for it to go, so I’m still thinking on that one.

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Back in the main room, the space on the left is where my bed is now, and the closet is full of clothes. I want to get some sort of folding wall to separate the closet from the main room, but all the ones I’ve seen look like they came out of a nursing home. And not in a cool, hipster sort of way either, more in a might fall apart any second sort of way. Another thing to contemplate.

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Through the closet and on the left is the bathroom. Yes, that is a window in the shower. I’m still not sure how best to deal with this. Mostly I’ve been showering facing the other direction. The window faces an alley, but I’m still on the first floor, prime vouer-tunity.

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The medicine cabinet above the pedestal sink. Also a selfie on the day I moved in. Cause I’m super fly like that. Aaaaand we’re going to end on the selfie. Why not?

Actually, I’d like to end on a picture of the inside door of the apartment, but I didn’t seem to have taken one when I moved in and to take one now would mean revealing some of the stuff I’ve put in since I moved in. I’m torn here, but I think I’ll wait until it’s a little more set up to take that picture, then share it.

Thanks for indulging my recordist side, next time it will be full of things and you can insult/applaud my taste in interior design. Promise I wont take offense.

Moving Through the Ages

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I don’t remember the first time I moved. Memories of swimming in a kiddie pool with neighbors in Chicago runs together with running around the crazy daisy with my sister in our yard in Milwaukee. Playing tag with my mom runs in our condo turns to teaching myself how to dribble in the driveway. I have no memoriy of packing, moving, and leaving. Only vagueities of both places.

I remember when I was told that we were moving to New York from Wisconsin. I was wearing a red dress and I sat in my moms lap and cried my eyes out. When I finished crying we set off the library. We checked out stacks of books on New York. Eloise, and Lyle, Lyle Crocodile. We got sticker books with bagels and hot dogs, buses and subways, guide books that told about famous landmarks in the city. When we arrived in New York we were greeted by a doorman, a balcony, and a phone that cackled like a roster. Maybe it wouldn’t be as terrible as I had envisioned.

When we went house hunting in DC, I announced to our doorman that we were going to Washington. “Which one?” I hadn’t realized there were two. I wanted a house like in my favorite books I imagined a place covered with ivy like in the Secret Garden and a well in the backyard like in Little House on the Prairie. We got a colonial-esque house on a street lined with cheery trees. After a two year contract we were out and on our way back to the New York tri-state area.

I don’t remember much about moving from Washington to New Jersey. At that point, with moving every two years I had become desensitized to moving paraphernalia. I do remember laying on my sisters bed, facing that wall and crying a little bit. I quickly dried my tears, not wanting anyone to see my feelings.

We had only ever really spent two years in any city at that point, so I went into friendships in New Jersey with the idea that we would move again in two years. Two years past, then three, and four and I came to the realization that I was stuck in the suburbs. At least for the foreseeable future.

I had just gotten back from camp when I was told we would be moving again. I wanted to tell everyone as soon as I knew. I was so excited to explore a new city and learn a new place. I was adamant that we live within walking distance to the bus or train. Even with three homes in less than two years, I was so ecstatic to be in the middle of it all. When I graduated high school I spent my last days in San Francsico planning to set up in Chicago for the next four years.

Since starting college I’ve lived in four apartments and returned multiple times to the house I left in San Francisco. The process of moving quickly has turned from large-scale production to small-scale to do. At one point I finished moving the last of my belongings into an apartment with a granny cart and a backpack.

Now this sea-saw of transitions is settling into equilibrium. I just signed a lease for a year. A whole year. And I’ll be living here the whole time as opposed to going home to San Francisco for extended summer breaks and thinking of it as a sloppy second. I am amazed that this new home is not in Chicago, but in Los Angeles, a city of traffic and heat I don’t even quite fully understand yet.

I have to keep telling myself that I’ve found a place to live in Los Angeles. And somehow with everything, I have decided that I will make this place home. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m excited once again to get started in this new city where I can begin to build the kind of community that I will thrive in. Are you ready for this? Don’t answer that, because ready or not here I come.

Plan A vs. Plan A

My plan A:
Come to Los Angeles in late February for school.  After school, register for a summer course here, and online classes in the fall, get cleared to do this instantly, find a permanent apartment here in LA, and move in.  Volunteer until I start my summer program in July.  Build a community.  Buy things from IKEA.

At the end of summer take a road trip.  Either with a friend in her car, or with a crazy Uncle to get my stuff to LA.  Set up a full apartment.  Have a bit of a housewarming party now that I can cook things properly in a full kitchen.

In the fall, take online classes while interning, all the while building up my portfolio to apply for writing fellowships in the spring.  Apply and get into writing fellowships.  Get paid from said fellowships.  Finish school in December.  Graduate and walk in May 2014, right back to LA to start working.  Become financially independent.

Mom’s plan:
Go to LA in late February for school.  Come back to San Francisco afterwards.  In May go to Chicago to take a summer history class.  Return to LA in June to find a place to live.  Summer program in July.

God’s plan A:
LA for condensed spring semester.  Back home to SF for an unknown amount of time.  Volunteer?  Intern?  Class in Chicago?  Probably stay til mid-June before coming back to LA to prepare for Summer program.

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I wish I knew what the future held.  But apparently God’s plan is only revealed on a need-to-know basis.  I guess I don’t need to know yet.  God’s plan is better than any plan I could ever have for myself.  Whatever God has for me will be so much better than my plan A.

Right now, God’s plan A looks a lot like my plan C or D or E.  Parts of it look terrifyingly like plan Z.  But I have to trust Him.  I have to obey.  Because right now I’m miserable.  And that’s never part of the plan.

Mornings

I’ve been thinking lately about morning routines.  I spent  too much time with this site, reading all the routines of celebrities.  Trying to get a sense for what I want in the morning and how I want my day to go.

My routine has become one of rolling out of bed at 7 or 7:30 to sit at my desk and journal.  I have my quite time in the morning and then get dressed with clothes set out the night before.  I have a breakfast that changes often.  Nutella toast, PB&J on an English muffin, eggs, or cereal.  Often with fruit.  Always with tea.  I have a single serve tea pot that I adore, but I’ll sometimes make just a mug.

When I’m living with my parents as I am now I read the San Francisco Chronicle or The New York Times while I eat.  But just the arts sections.  Style, travel, home, food.  Sometimes I’ll read the Business section if there’s a technology article that catches my eye.  When I’m living on my own I don’t subscribe to the newspaper, so I’ll power up my computer and try to make a bit of a dent in my Google Reader (I have around 30 new posts to read every day).

The whole thing probably takes about an hour and a half.  Maybe a bit more.  But I haven’t tried it with on a deadline before.  When I was having to leave the house at 8am I would try and get up at 7.  It was different then, but I’m not sure how.  Right now I have nowhere to go, nothing to get to at a specific time, so I’m not sure how it will change when I have to be in class by 9am.

When I’m traveling or having an appointment, the whole routine seems to go out the window.  I’m too shy in front of others to journal and I’ll just eat whatever is put in front of me when I’m staying with someone.  If I go climbing in the morning and leave early, I’m never able to wake up early enough to get through the whole routine.  The quiet time gets cut off or I rush through breakfast.

What is your morning routine?  I’m fascinated with the differences in people’s habits, so I really am curious.  How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

This Has Been: December Edition

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December has been a month of endings, as it usually is.  The end of the year, but also the end of the semester, the end of my time in the Uptown apartment, and the end of my time in Chicago, at least for a little while.

The month started with Renegade, the moved through the last weeks of the semester and a full scale photo shoot.  Along with the end of school can saying goodbye to good friends, classmates, and co-workers.  Some of these people I’ll see in LA in a few months, but others were hugs to last for a long time away.  I will miss them all terribly.  Yes, the internet helps, but chance meetings are rather infrequent on facebook (we should all switch to Twitter and Google+).

Meanwhile, I packed up my apartment to the tune of Annie and cleaned the place like I don’t think it’s ever been cleaned before — with mom’s help of course.  A whilrwind of family and boxes has followed me to San Francisco where I am uncertain of where to settle in to.  My time here so far has been saturated with good friends, lots of tea lattes, and a healthy dose of rain.

Christmas was tons of fun and has left me now working on projects and watching lots of TV (and not all that I’m in control of either).  I’m now wrestling between trying to come up with a schedule for myself for the new year and wanting to leave my time more open.  So many decisions, so little time.

Tradition

Today I will get up early despite how late I was up flying in to San Francisco.  It is my first full day home and, for the past three years this has involved me going to see the Shepard’s Play, a nativity play that my high school puts on every year.

I was convinced that this year I would miss the play because my timing is different, but somehow, so is theirs.  I am ecstatic to get to see old friends and participate in a tradition that has been going on for longer than I’ve been alive and will continue on for years to come.

Traditions come from all sorts of places and usually have entertaining origin stories.  My family does Chinese food on Christmas Eve ever since the year we were in the midst of a renovation over Christmas.  After a performance we go for ice cream.  The first weekend after I come home we go to the farmers market for breakfast.

Whatever your traditions are, I wish you the best of all seasons in the coming week and we prepare for the last of the years holidays and gear up for a new year.  I’ll be back next week with the obligatory Christmas post, and a few more before the new year, but allow me to be one of the first to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The End and The Beginning

1-DSC_0001As of 3:30 this afternoon I am done with this semester.  As much as I am glad to be through with it there are some things I’ll miss from this set of classes.  This semester taught me a lot both in classes as it was supposed to and how to deal with classes and assignment that I don’t like or understand.

I finished a show bible (description and set up) and pilot for an original series.  It’s a thing that I really want to work on more and I don’t quite know where to go from here.  Anyone know a a writing group in SF?  Any writers want to give me some feedback?

I did have mostly gen eds this semester, which turned out to be a fun thing.  I met a lot of people outside my department, some of whom I’m sure I will keep in touch with in the coming year as I continue to develop my ideas and career goals.  I am so blessed to know people going into so many different fields, growing my network to include people I can call for all kinds of questions.  In fact, a few weeks ago I needed to have a realistic-sounding measurement of energy for my pilot and I asked it as a question on Facebook.  I had three answers within five minutes.  My network of friends is awesome.

Sadly, this was my last semester with my German class.  Most of us had been in German 1 last semester and the smaller class size this semester meant that twice a week we would hang out and try to speak German together.  I mean, we learned stuff too, but it was absolutely my favorite group this semester because it was such fun to hang out with these people.

I have been surprised with how well finals have gone this week.  I’ve gotten to sleep in twice.  Last night I even go t a chance to go to a preview showing of The Hobbit.  So much awesome, guys, absolutely go see that movie with Christmas.  It’s been a really calm week in what can sometimes be a hurricane of stuff to be done.

While this is the end of my semester and the end of my time in Chicago (at least for a little while), this day also marks the beginning of a lot of other things including the Christmas season, time spent at home with family and friends, and my time as a semi-professional working towards my Semester in LA next spring.  I don’t know what these next few months are going to bring, but I’m excited for the outcome.

This Will Be: December Edition

December is a month of finishing.  This month I am finishing the semester (and only just realizing how much needs to be done).  I’m packing up my short-lived apartment and putting all my things in storage.  I can’t help but feel that I am finishing a phase of my life that I wont return to again.

Having finished the majority of my work last month gives me the freedom to devote all my extra time to finishing out the semester strong.  I’m working on a TV show bible, a cookbook compiled by season, a marketing event, and two presentations.  I’m going to be a busy bee for the next few weeks.

And the buck doesn’t stop there.  As soon as the semester is over I will be packing up and moving on out.  I have no idea how I’m going to get it all done. I think my mom is going to be coming to help me move out, something I’m immensely grateful for.

Followed quickly on those heels is the Christmas holiday and all the preparations and festivities that are involved with that.  Never mind that I have no clue where I’m going or what the plan is for beyond the winter break.  All this uncertainty can make a girl anxious.

My hope for the month is definitely that I will be able to keep calm a midst all the crazy that is sure to come.  I have a few crafty/bloggy/photoy thoughts in mind as well, if only to help relieve some of the stress that this month is sure to bring.

This Has Been: November Edition

I am in awe that November is nearly over.  Really I am.  This has been a month of waiting.  Waiting to hear back from study abroad, from Semester in LA (SiLA).  Waiting for a camera charger to come in the mail (it’s still not here and it’s driving me nuts).  Waiting for my show to wrap.

All good things mind you, and saying that I was waiting for them doesn’t imply that I was sitting around twiddling my thumbs in the meantime.  There was plenty of working and socializing to do while I was in stasis elsewhere.

As mentioned, I wrapped production of my show for work.  It was a fun project to do and put me in touch with a lot of first year students.  There was a lot of nostalgia in there for me, leading to a lot of thankfulness that I never have to return to that period of my life again.

This never-repeating-freshmen-year sentiment was echoed in my trip to Boston to see my sister.  It was great to see her, and a lot of fun to meet her friends, but I feel no need to return to the early days of college.  Lot’s of sleeping in and not-quite-thought-through plans.

That said, it was fantastic to see her and the rest of my family over the Thanksgiving weekend.  I went on a segway tour with my mom, ate lot’s of wonderful food, and watched the Macy’s parade (my favorite holiday moment, seriously it’s possible that there were happy tears).

A midst all the holiday and family-seeing bliss there was also a few options filtering their way back to me.  Acceptance into SiLA and Study Abroad leaving all my options open and a big choice to be made, but one thing quite clear: wherever I’ll be, I will not be spending next semester in Chicago.