Archive | November, 2012

creativity, where art thou?

30 Nov

I don’t know why, but this term has left me so utterly drained. I’ve barely worked on any of my personal writing. Screenplays, stories, poetry, hell, even this blog, all of them have been lacking. Even my photography has lacked a certain creativity. I’m not quite sure the reason for this. I’d say it’s school’s fault, but this term is no busier than pervious terms before it (in fact this term was a tad tamer than normal).

However, this Christmas break is going to force me to rev up all creativity levels, because I have quite a bit to get done over the holiday season.

  1. Figure out my January art show (I just found out I’m getting a show yesterday. I wish I had been told a couple months ago (considering I applied for a show last June) but ah well. I think I’m going to end up having my show be about my 365 Day Challenge that I’ve been doing for almost two years now.)
  2. Write those two Christmas themed features I suggested for Tough Pigs
  3. Write the Christmas feature I suggested for Cool Gizmo Toys
  4. Pick out photos I’ve taken over the years to put in the photo album I got for my dad’s birthday present
  5. Decide which story I’m going to be using for my Writing Capstone
  6. Memorize the two slam poems I’ve finished writing
  7. Finish my second draft of my screenplay (okay, I don’t need to do this one, but I wanna)

I’m hoping all of this will get the inspiration flowing and make for a very creative holiday season. I’m also hoping to write on here more often than I have been lately (though not as often as I did last summer).

Fingers crossed!

for we need a little christmas.

26 Nov

Listening to Frank Sinatra, Josh Groban, Bing Crosby, Harry Connick Jr., Muppets, and Michael Buble on my late night runs and on my walks to school.

Wearing my Santa hat while I sit in bed reading late at night or watching television.

Making up a list of all the Christmas movies/specials I loved as a kid with every intention of watching each one of them.

Hanging lights in the apartment’s living room.

Getting the majority of my shopping done before it’s even December.

Planning on reading A Christmas Carol at some point in the next few weeks.

Devising plans for seeing friends already for once I’m home over the break.

Anticipating baking, decorating the house and tree, watching It’s a Wonderful Life, and opening presents with the family.

Eggnog, eggnog, EGGNOG.

I don’t think the world understands how much I love this time of year.

happy days are here again.

18 Nov

This school term’s been a little trying for me… well, okay, more than a little trying.

While the work load hasn’t been much different from term’s past, the fact that I’m going through some serious Senior-itis has made it pretty unbearable. Not to mention I’ve been dealing with a three month long existential crisis (something I’ve never truly experienced before) and it has not been going very well. Notice my lack of entries on here? Yeah. Blame the existential crisis.

But I’ve been doing a lot better recently. Nick came back into town (thank the powers that be), so I’ve actually been getting out of the house. This last Wednesday was the best. I didn’t have work and all my classes were canceled (save one, but I skipped it), so Nick and I hung around the apartment for a bit and then went on a three hour walk all around Ashland. It was just the thing I needed to pick my spirits up. Three of my classes were canceled last week, and two are canceled this week (and then Thanksgiving happens) so I’ve had a lot more free time. Meaning? I’m currently way ahead on all my homework, and with the exception of two projects I’m basically set until after Thanksgiving. This is the first time all term that I haven’t felt incredibly bogged down by homework. It’s pretty wonderful.

Today’s been a great day though. It’s one of the few days all term where I haven’t felt down in the dumps about things that are far out of my control. I went to Starbucks and finished going through the second half of a hard copy of my screenplay, and when I finished that earlier than expected I went around and got some early Christmas shopping done. I bought all my gifts for three friends and a couple for my dad, leaving just one more friend, my brother, my five little cousins, and a few more things for my dad. I figure I’ll wrap up the rest of my Christmas shopping once Thanksgiving is over. I’d really like to get most of my Christmas shopping done early this year, so I don’t have to fret about running around and getting it done the week before. (Well, except for Anthony. Dad and I tend to go out and get his gifts together, so I’ll take care of that one later.)

My dad called me up and told me that he liked my Pumpkin Snickerdoodles so much that he’d like me to make them for Thanksgiving. Is it silly that I’m proud over that? This is the first time I’ll actually making something on my own for the family to eat when they’re together. I did tell my dad that instead of watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year I want to help him make food, so I guess this is a step in the right direction.

Otherwise, yeah! Today’s been good. My first really good day this term, if you don’t count the couple days I’ve spent with Nick since he got back in town. I think it helps that this term is coming to a close. Plus I’ve been eating pretty healthily and found a new way to do my hair, which sounds silly, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a positive thought about my appearance, so that’s nice. Friends are also a good thing. I’m probably gonna see Nate the Friday after Thanksgiving, then go out for drinks with Kathleen that night. I can’t wait for Christmas break. I’m hoping to spend a lot of time with friends and relish in the Holiday Season.

The moral of this story is that Christmas time makes everything better because it’s my favorite time of the year.

Write to Me with Sentimental Effusion: A Rant about John and Abigail Adams.

14 Nov

I just realized something yesterday.

My abundant love of John and Abigail Adams, and the whole era of the Revolutionary War, has been with me for twelve years now. That’s over half my life time. That’s fucking incredible.

I can remember being a fifth grader, trying to convince my friends to watch 1776 with me, doing an extra credit report on John and Abigail’s family (not because I had to, because I wanted to), being disappointed that everyone recognized William Daniels as Mr. Feeney instead of John Adams, and getting into a fight with one of my best friends about who accomplished more for America, Jefferson or Adams. Since I was ten, I’ve certainly grown in my adoration. I’ve read books about John and Abigail, along with many of their letters. I’ve named characters in stories after them, and I’m working on a modern day adaption of their own story. I have a motherfucking playlist on my iPod dedicated to their relationship that I listen to fairly frequently. I’ve watched documentaries, the HBO miniseries, and, as always, the musical. Needless to say, I’m crazy about these two.

I’ve tried diligently to explain over the years why their love stands out amongst millions, but it’s rare that a friend truly listens to me on the subject. It makes me sad that people don’t understand that theirs was, truly, one of the greatest love stories of all time.

Here’s an excerpt from one of Abigail’s letters to John that seems to be most well known:

“…should I draw you the picture of my heart it would be what I hope you would still love though it contained nothing new. The early possession you obtained there, and the absolute power you have obtained over it, leaves not the smallest space unoccupied. I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship as to the days of love and innocence, and, with an indescribable pleasure, I have seen near a score of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time, nor have the dreary years of absence in the smallest degree effaced from my mind the image of the dear untitled man to whom I gave my heart.”

How is that not the most goddamn romantic thing you’ve ever heard?

Every person, in the world, should strive to find a love that is as strong, brave, and true as the love Abigail and John had for each other. They were separated for five whole years while John was in Europe – no telephones or IM or skype, like we have nowadays; five whole years of never seeing the others face or hearing their love’s voice – and yet their love persisted. Hell, they spent more time apart than together throughout the duration of their marriage, but still, just by reading the letters they wrote back and forth, it’s obvious how deeply they cared for one another and how immense their love was. Not only that, but they respected one another as intellectual equals. John often called her “my Portia” or “my Diana”, but as always, they consistently called each other “My Dearest Friend.” They never engaged in extramarital affairs and, once they were together, only ever had eyes for each other. If only people could find what Abigail and John had.

True, undeniable, total, genuine love.

“Is there no way for two friendly souls to converse together, although the bodies are 400 miles off. Yes, by letter. But I want a better communication. I want to hear you think, or to see your thoughts. The conclusion of your letter makes my heart throb more than a cannonade would. You bid me burn your letters. But I must forget you first.” – John Adams to Abigail

It’s the Most Fattening Time of the Year

11 Nov

October 31st through the 1st of January tends to be the worst time of the year – eating wise – for me. I always go into the holiday season telling myself I’ll be careful and watch what I eat, but I always come out of it a few pounds heavier. It’s not that I don’t try, I honestly do… I’m just pretty weak and give into temptation easily. It’s hard not to around this time of year, what with all the wonderful food and delicious desserts.

  • Halloween candy. A relative or two always sends me a Halloween care package full of candy, which is very sweet of them (no pun intended). Unfortunately, I never go about care packages the right way. The smart thing to do would be to eat one piece of candy per day, therefore balancing my intake and not really gaining weight. Nope. Instead, I eat it all in the first couple days, because I keep telling myself the sooner it’s gone the sooner I don’t have to deal with the temptation. Yup. That’s some pretty lousy bullshit right there. Way to go, common sense o’ mine.
  • It’s cold outside. There’s something about winter that turns me into a bear. I just want to eat a ton so I can stay warm and then hibernate for the winter (fact: I just had to look up “how does hibernation work”. Way to never teach me that, school). It’s also becoming harder to motivate myself to go out on my morning runs when it’s raining/freezing balls cold outside. I was hoping for fun rain runs, but nope, so far they’ve been cold and miserable. Peachy.
  • Thanksgiving day. You know, the actual Thanksgiving meal isn’t what fucks me over. I tend to eat a healthy proportion when it comes to the dinner. Not too much turkey and stuffing, and a nice dose of mashed potatoes and salad. No, what gets me is the before and after. Before dinner, my dad lays out this array of cheeses. Cheddar, Brie, Havarti, Pepper jack, Cream cheese slathered with chutney, and so on. I start out taking a plate full, nibbling on cheese and crackers as I mingle with relatives, but in a matter of minutes I’m hovering by the appetizer table, shoving slivers of brie into my mouth while no one is looking. Then after dinner it’s pie and ice cream time. Now, it’s not every day that I get to eat my dad’s delicious apple pie (which is the best in the world, and if you try to agree with me YOU’RE WRONG), so I tend to go all out. By the end of the night I’ve eaten so much cheese and apple pie I feel ready to burst.
  • The Christmas season. Hot chocolate. Eggnog. Candy canes. Fudge. Santa shaped sugar cookies. Pizzelles. Red and green m&m’s. Hershey kisses. More apple pie. Ginger bread. Popcorn. You get the gist.

  • Being up in Portland. I’ve written about this in the past, but being in Portland tends to bring out, shall we say, the teenager in me. I tend to eat a lot and don’t feel motivated to work out; I basically resort back to my sixteen year old self. I’m under the belief that this is because going to Portland feels more like a vacation. This worries me a little, since I’ll be moving back up there next summer.

So what can I do about all of this?

Well, I mean, I suppose I can watch what I eat, though I know that isn’t going to happen for the most part. I am going to desperately try to keep up my exercising while I’m in Portland and, for the most part, keep to the healthy meal proportions I try to stick by… but, I mean, Christmas time comes once a year. So yeah, I’m gonna drink a ton of eggnog. And yes, apple pie and fudge shall be consumed. I’m just gonna try not to overdo it this year, I guess. On days when I’m not going out with friends and family gatherings are not happening, that’s when I’ll especially attempt not to overdo it with the eating.

But if I don’t end up eating healthy this holiday season, well, then I guess my New Years resolution will basically write itself.

My 10 Favorite iPhone apps.

10 Nov

I remember when I was a wee freshman living in the Southern Oregon University dorms. Ah, the memories. The constantly messy floor, staying up till 4am watching CSI episodes, learning how to make top ramen and Kraft mac and cheese in the microwave, and so many more glorious times. Yes, those were the days.

Back when I was a freshman, my roommate (and dear friend) Amanda had an iPhone, and I distinctly remember telling her I never wanted one. I’m not really sure why. Maybe because I was so in love with my Verizon Chocolate at the time, or maybe I had an inkling that, if I ever were to have one, I’d never get off it.

Well, if I ever did have that inkling, it would’ve been 100% accurate.

Now, I’m not ashamed to admit, I absolutely love my iPhone. I don’t have many apps on it, just because I’m always worried about taking up too much memory, but the apps that I have and use frequently are  wonderful.

Here are my top ten favorite iPhone apps:

  1. MapMyRun – This is, by far, the handiest app on my entire phone. I go out on runs three to five days a week, and I like to keep a record of my runs. In the past I’d have to time myself while keeping track of my route, so once I got home I could plug all that information into my computer. Well not anymore! Now, before I start my run, I pull up the MapMyRun app, press “record”, and BAM. It not only keeps track of how long I run, but the route and distance as well. It’s insanely brilliant.
  2. Jurassic Park Builder – It’s like Sim City, but with dinosaurs. What’s not to like?
  3. Goodreads – This one’s handy if I’m out and about, and I happen to see a book I’d like to read in the future. I can just pull up my Goodreads app and add it to my “to read” list. Or, if I finish a book while I’m away from my computer, I can put it in my “complete” list, so I wont forget until later.
  4. Pandora – I seriously doubt that I need to explain my love of Pandora.
  5. Angry Birds – If you say you don’t like Angry Birds, you’ve either never played it or you’re a lair.
  6. Fruit Ninja – See Angry Birds reason.
  7. Facebook – While it is good to take a break from the social networking on occasion, it is nice to have Facebook on your phone if you are, say, ridiculously bored in class and need to distract yourself.
  8. Twitter – See Facebook reason.
  9. Instagram – While a part of me is discomforted by Instagram – since it’s emphasizing upon the notion that anyone can be their own photographer nowadays and is basically putting actual photographers out of a job – damn it all, I fucking love this app. I hate lugging my big SLR camera with me everywhere I go, so it’s convenient when I want to get my picture of the day taken.
  10. Youtube – Having Youtube as an iPhone app is really a must for everyone nowadays. How else will you share that ridiculously cute video of the baby sloth you saw last week with all your friends while you’re in a drunken stupor?

shoe-less girl.

5 Nov

I wanted to ask her why she wasn’t wearing shoes. As I followed in her footsteps, my eyes gazed down at the bare soles padding across the college campus. So many questions floated around in my mind.

Aren’t your feet cold?

Don’t they hurt against the hard concrete?

Do you always do this, or did you wake up feeling like going shoe-less?

Why?

I’ve been going through a quarter life crisis for the past several months of my life. I haven’t talked much of it, because how would it sound coming from a healthy twenty-two year old girl that she’s terrified of dying someday without ever finding her purpose and making a name for herself? Pretty ridiculous. I’m young. I’ve got time. Why need I worry?

But this is something that’s been haunting me lately, which has, in turn, made me reevaluate how I’m living my life. It’s why I’ve begun to exercise daily and eat better. It’s why I’ve tried to be kinder to strangers on the street. It’s why I’ve cut out certain people in my life who never treated me well, and why I’ve brought the people who love me closer. Life is so fucking short. Our job should be not only to make our life the best it possibly can be, but the lives of everyone around us as well.

Last night I watched the movie Into the Wild for the first time, and it instilled in me this will to get up and go. I’m not saying I’d like to go live off the land (because I’m fairly certain that would end rather poorly), but the idea of traveling across the United States, all of Europe, and maybe India… That sounds absolutely wonderful. After I finished the film last night, I found myself looking around at my room and asking myself, “Why do I have so many things?” Why do I have an electric sudoku puzzle that I never play? Three stacks of magazines I’m never going to read? Why do I hold on to old clothes that I’m never going to wear again? I’m looking forward to next summer, since my brother and I have discussed having a yard sale. I just want to purge all things I do not and will not ever need. I’m tired of being materialistic. I know my love of Muppet memorabilia, clothes, and books will never die, but I have this urge from now on to cut out everything else.

So maybe the shoe-less girl has got it right.

Waiter, There’s an Dipshit in my Soup.

3 Nov

Last week my dad called me up and told me he was going to be coming down to Ashland to see me this weekend. This caught me a bit off guard, since my dad had just come down at the end of September and we had seen five shows together. Nevertheless, I found that I was, surprisingly, excited that he was coming down to visit so soon.

So he came down this Thursday and stayed for two nights. We went and saw Romeo and Juliet Thursday evening, and then we saw Animal Crackers again last night. I had seen Romeo and Juliet several weeks ago, and I enjoyed it a lot the first time… but then again, maybe that’s because I went with a really cute Russian boy. This time around I found I was bored through most of it. Maybe it was the performance, maybe it was because I’ve seen Romeo and Juliet one too many times. Animal Crackers, on the other hand, was hilarious as always. It was my dad’s second time seeing it and my third. This time was a special treat because Jonathan Haugen, who normally plays Hives and Chandler, as out and we had an understudy (Robert Vincent Frank) go on. Since the show’s so fast paced and he’s probably never had to go on before, Robert was on book. Of course, since the show is so slapstick and improvised, the main trio of the show gave him a hard time during the entire show’s run. Luckily he was a good sport about it. I’m sure he knew going on that they’d tease him a bit. The best part was when his character was passed out on the floor they semi-undressed him. Good moments in theatre 101.

Yesterday afternoon my dad and I went to Jacksonville. I’d never been to the small town except for the two times I went there for Britt Festival, but even then I only ever went straight to their outdoor theatre. I found the town to be quite charming. My dad explained how it was a historic piece of Oregon, and we wandered around through most of the shops. After talking to a nice woman at an antique store, I made a mental note to come back to Jacksonville during the Christmas season. It sounds like they decorate the entire town and go all out for the holiday season, which sounds fabulous. They’ve also got a killer kitchen appliance store, so I’ll have to go back there to find my dad a gift for Christmas.

Alas, our trip to Jacksonville was far from perfect. We went to the Jacksonville Inn Restaurant, which my dad was raving about. He told me how it’s considered one of the top one hundred restaurants in the country, and how he’d been there before. Well, let’s just say I walked into that restaurant excited and left feeling… agitated. For starters, our waiter was sort of horrible. He had to keep coming back to ask us questions about our orders, we waited for our food for over forty-five minutes, he completely forgot our appetizer all together, and he brought me the wrong kind of wine (luckily my dad spoke up and I was given the correct kind). Normally I could excuse things like this, except we were one of three tables in the restaurant and the guy had been working there for months. So there’s that.

But that’s not while I was feeling agitated by the time we left. Despite all the problems with our lunch, I was ready to leave the meal feeling all right about the establishment. The burger I ordered had been great. However, as my dad and I were getting ready to leave he asked me, “What does your button say?” I glanced down at it and grinned. “Time Lords for Obama,” I replied. I was about to tell him all about the site NerdsForObama.org when we were interrupted. The maître d’ of the restaurant, who had been so nice to us and had been the reason we finally got our food, came over and asked me if I was voting for Obama. I hesitated before telling him “yes.” I sensed a disturbance in the force. The guy then went on to give me a five or six minute long rant about why Obama is a terrible president. At first I was quiet, thinking he’d eventually talk himself out. Then I tried to give him visual cues with my body language and expressions that the whole conversation (well, not conversation, more like him lecturing at me) was making me uncomfortable. Finally I couldn’t sit there any longer in silence when he tried to argue how PBS should have its funds cut.

The whole thing was infuriating. I’d make a statement and he’d immediately cut me off before I could make my point. He’d also ask me if I knew certain states and dollar figures about things Obama has “screwed up”, which was just plain dumb because of course I don’t know any of this off the top of my head. He then gave me a speech about how he shouldn’t have to pay for other woman’s birth control and blah blah blah, it just went on until my dad finally stood up so we could get out of there.

Uggggh.

That’s just not acceptable. If you’re working at a restaurant, no matter how comfortable you feel with your customers, you should never put them in a situation like that. As we were leaving the guy was telling me how he’d hope that I’d come by again sometime soon, and all I could think was, “No fucking way am I ever coming back.” I then went home and took an angry nap.

Anyway, besides that glitch, my weekend with my dad was lovely. It’s odd that I’m now at a place in life that whenever he leaves I’m genuinely sad. We don’t always get along, but I do love the guy. Glad I’ll be seeing him again in less than three weeks for Thanksgiving.