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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The One With the Mid-Month Update

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I leave for Seattle in less than an hour and I’m not even dressed yet.  I suppose you could call this weekend a celebration of the end of the semester.  As of today I am officially a senior in college.

As I mentioned on Monday, this semester has been a bit wonky.  Between living at home, Semester in LA, apartment hunting, and moving back home, I’m glad to be officially and solidly DONE with this semester.  While I’ve been unofficially done with classes since early April, this week marks the end of the semester in Chicago and Saturday will be my school’s arts festival.  Not that I’m going to be there.

Along with that goes a huge congratulations to my friends who are graduating.  I know a handful of people really well in the class of 2013 and I adore them all.  Congrats to Sarah, Veronica, Ray, Lauren, Ryan, Liz, Jeff, Courtney, and many others who are gleefully done with classes for the foreseeable future.  It’s been wonderful to know you for years or even just months, and I can’t wait to join you.

On a semi-related note, my mom is leaving the country on my sister’s birthday.  My baby sister turns 19 this weekend!  Whut?  She’s taking summer classes in Boston, so I wont get to see her this year, and we just keep missing each other.  She comes home the day I start summer school in LA.

What are you guys doing this weekend?

What’s the Big Deal?

As of right now I have registered for classes for the remainder of my academic career, these classes allow me to finish my degree requirements while staying here in Los Angeles.  I applied for graduation, checking off the box to say that I will walk May 2014, and gave them sizing info for a graduation gown (over a year from now, am I really going to be the same size?).

This whole process is surreal.  A few months ago I was stunned to tears at the idea of this move to LA being permanent  but as it’s beginning to take shape my only thoughts and feelings on the matter are gratitude.  Overwhelming and thanks for all the opportunities I’ve been given and the people who’ve helped along the way.  I am so blessed.

Graduating college will probably be one of the biggest milestones of my life to date.  I’ve graduated from brownie to junior girl scout, graduated middle school and high school, gotten accepted to college and survived the years of school, and in some ways that’s a huge accomplishment.  But it doesn’t feel like it to me.

Maybe it’s just because it’s not unexpected.  I am finishing school on track and beginning the process of looking for proper work, but this whole process seems like a big hoopla over not much.  Of course I was going to finish school.  Of course I am looking for a job.  None of this seems extraordinary to me.  It’s simply the next step to get where I want to be.

When I look back on my life and marvel at my achievements  I hope with a fervent passion that graduating college will not make the top five.  I have hopes and dreams that go so far beyond that.  When I look back on my life I want the big deal moments to be the launch date of my own series, buying a house I love, climbing literal mountains, and traveling the world.  Maybe marrying the guy of my dreams or raising my own kids.

While I’m glad to be able to say I’m going to graduate college, I don’t see it as an accomplishment.  I see college as a stepping stone.  A small, probably necessary, step in getting to the things I truly hope to accomplish.  Am I totally missing something here?  Is graduating college a lot bigger of a deal than it is in my head?

What about you?  Is there something that is a big deal in society, but you don’t see as a major accomplishment?

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.

My Alternative Life

When things get stressful I look for a way out.  I turn an idea into a not-very-well-thought-out plan to escape my life.  I’ve never acted on any of these, and doubt that I will in the foreseeable future, but here are some of the plans I’ve come up with to escape my life.

  • Backpack the Adirondack trail from start to finish.  (When living on the east coast)
  • Drop out of school and go to culinary school.  (Reoccurring throughout my first year of college, especially around finals and when unfinished projects were due the next day)
  • Just find some younger politician and start working as their secretary.  (Because one of my role models in life is Donna Moss of The West Wing)
  • Become a nanny in San Francisco.  (Because I’m good with kids and I freaking love that city so much)
  • Move to [Cambodia, Tokyo, India, or Morocco] and blog about it.  (Mostly sophomore year, especially around the time of Freq Out, but also through last semester)
  • Buy a live-in van and become a climbing bum.  Blog about it.  (A dream in high school that returned after climbing in Colorado)
  • Become a ride operator at Disneyland.  (Mostly while visiting there)
  • Sleep on my friend’s couch in Berlin and hide from their immigration agents by becoming a perfect German girl.  (After reading about What Moves You reunions all over Germany)
  • Drop out and go to Eurythmy school.  (A few months ago, after going to a Eurythmy performance)
  • Or just do Waldorf Teacher Training and hope for the best.  (In the same vein as above)
  • Ride the Trans-Siberian Railroad from end to end.  (Always)
  • Just move to LA and start working.  Do I really need a degree? (Still considering this one)

These day dreams are all a form of escapism.  I think of all the things I could be doing that would be more fun than writing an essay or a script.  Of all the places I would rather be than in my bedroom facing a mountain of homework.

I consider it a tribute to my awesome friends and family that none of these have ever actually come into being.  Whenever I start to think more seriously about one, someone will drag me back to the present.  My friends remind me of all the good things in my life.  My family encourages me to stick it out when school gets tough.  And I can’t thank them enough.

Travel Lessons Learned

I’ve done my fair share of traveling (read the latest here and here), and while I had a great time on all my recent trips, there were a few things that I wish I had thought of earlier.

The kind of thing you understand much better have being informed that the next available ticket to see the Sistine Chapel is two days after your departure, or when your camera battery dies two pictures into the Museum of Fine Art.  Whoops.  Learn from my mistakes.

  1. Set Expectations.  This is important weather you are traveling with a group or solo.  In a group: be sure that others are aware of your habits and limitations.  If you need a caffeine fix at 3pm each day, it’s better for them to know that before you actually need the fix, like now.  Solo: figure out what you want from this trip and how you’re going to make it happen.
  2. Make Some Plans.  Even if your host will likely show you around the city/area, it’s good to do a little research ahead of time to have one or two things you’d like to do in mind.  Especially if there is something that you need to get tickets for ahead of time.
  3. Electronics Check.  Everyone has their own list of cannot-live-without gadgets, but whatever plan you have, make sure that everything is in working order before you go.  Check for any software updates, be sure you have the right number of chargers and/or converters of every. stinking. device.  You’ll thank yourself later.  If you don’t have the power for it, don’t even bring it.

Admittedly, while some of this is very simple, it often takes personal experience to truly learn these lessons.  So don’t beat yourself up if one of these happen to you.  I just hope that this is helpful to at least one person.  If it is, I’ll have been glad to be of service.

What do you think is the most important travel lesson?  Is there anything I’ve missed?

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?

My New Collection

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From my road trip to LA. Real talk: I want to be Mary Tyler Moore.

These days I find myself lingering in the travel section of bookstores.  Even our local sports and adventure store has a travel book section.  I spend much of my time there.  I pour over the titles and imagine the places listed there.

While books often bring you to different worlds, usually those worlds are metaphorical.  In travel guides and essay collections the reality of these spaces is poignant.  Reading the descriptions of colorful fruits in a street market in Cambodia, I can’t keep from the back of my mind how easy it would be to hop on a plane and go there.

Easy is perhaps a relative term.  Once plans were made they would be easy to execute.  But until plans are made the thoughts will simply linger in the back of my mind.

I have taken to buying books of places I’m interested in going to.  It started innocently enough.  Just one book.  On a place I very well may go come summer.  But then…  Before I knew it, a trip to a bookstore wasn’t complete without a travel book tucked into my stack.

As strange as this new collection is, I couldn’t be more exciting.  I am already imagining shelves full of travel books; organized by places I’ve been and places I haven’t.  When I go somewhere I can hold tickets and mementos between the pages, a miniature memory book of all the was and all that could have been.

These books will be my favorites.  Of all the stories and tales that line the shelves, it will be the travel books–books full of potential for my own stories–that I will prize.  I can’t wait.

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.

Recent Events

I made mention on Tuesday of “recent events” that brought the idea of Grad school to the table.  At the moment I don’t have any policy per-say about how much of my life I share with the internet.  There is nothing in my life that I am ashamed about, but I’m still not sure where the line is of what to share and what not to share.

Wherever that line is, my future plans have always fallen on the side that is shared with the internet.  Usually I try to make some concrete choices about what the future will be looking like before I go sharing, but this one is a bit of an undecided moment.  A two roads diverged moment of sorts.

One road is basically Route 66 and brings me to Semester in LA (SiLA) and a possible internship.  The second gives me a chance to study abroad, something I had always planned on doing.  Another option, of course is to stay right where I am, cozy and warm tucked into Chicago.  Both SiLA and Chicago could lead to grad school in England, but that seems to be a long way off.

Long story short I have lots of options for what to do with myself next semester, and none of these options suck.  Up until recently I also would have said that none of my options disqualify any of the other options, but I’ve recently found out that’s not the case.  Apparently if I want to study abroad then I have to do that in the next two semesters.  Doable, yes, but it throws off some plans I had.

All in all, I’m really not sure what the next few years of my life are going to look like, but I think I’m kind of excited for them.  Right now at least.  Maybe when I’m in the middle of it I’ll want to drop out a move to Brazil to run zip-lines through the Amazon.  Don’t worry internet, if that happens you’ll be invited for the trip.