White Elephant Gift Exchange

Monday, December 24, 2012

Yesterday I took part in my first ever White Elephant Gift Exchange with my favorite people ever. It was a splendid night full of luscious wines, succulent goodies, and horrible card games. That's right, Cards Against Humanity is back in my life and I couldn't be happier!

Even though with the stress of gift-shopping and giving it's easy to forget what the holidays are all about, it's a good time to remember what you're thankful for and I'm thankful to have these amazing people in my life.

Goals for Winter

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This year has been completely volatile for me. Luckily it's almost up and the time to start anew is nearly here! I've decided in an effort to keep up my mood I'm going to start seasonal goals, little forms of achievement and accomplishment and good times! This idea was inspired by The Dainty Squid's Fall Goals. Today marks the end of Autumn but tomorrow begins Winter, so I'll start there.

Winter Goals
photograph more (I can't emphasize this enough!)
play in the snow (Rupert included!)
hike more
bike more
start up knit shop
find a mahvelous New Year's party to get fancy for
visit somewhere with gorgeous Winter scenery
have an amazing birthday party
purchase and learn to play the ukelele
finish playing Skyward Sword

get my own recurve bow and practice archery
take Rupert on walks 

and, well, if I manage to come up with anymore I'll add them as they come. 

The Happiest Place on Earth

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yup. You guessed it:

As a kid my parents didn't take me once a year to visit so I felt like I missed out on that as a kid. The first time I remember going was for grad night.
After a terrible break-up.
Surrounded by couples.
I'm sure you can imagine how much fun that was for me.

Ever since I got my annual pass back in June I have been back there approximately 10 times.

You'd think I'd get bored,
but oh no.

Every time I've gone back I feel like I've discovered something new.

There's always something new to experience depending on the time of year.

Twice a year they have Dapper Day,
where people dress to impress in their finest vintage apparel.

We got to see Molly Ringwald recite verses for the Candlelight Processional,

and last night I experienced A World of Color for the first time.

We pretended to be back at summer camp and horsed around in the Redwood Challenge Trails.

There's always some beautiful fireworks to witness.

and we fell in love with the Grand California Hotel
with it's exquisite, rugged good looks.
(I tell ya, I wouldn't mind going there for a birthday)

and well, anyway, here are the photos of it all.

So that's it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

After this quarter, I’m done.
I have already begun to receive commencement e-mails stating upcoming filing deadlines and appointments I need to keep.
In April I get to be rid of these godawful braces once and for all.
In June I get to take part in the commencement ceremony that I’ve watched them set up for the past two years with envious eyes. When will my time come?
This quarter marks the end of all my requirements and necessary units. But due to my failed eagerness to study abroad I’ll have one last quarter to fill with unnecessary electives, just for kicks. That’s when I came across and beginning book arts class where I’ll learn to bind a book, as well as typesetting and letterpress. I’m also taking a Psychology elective that I know damn well would look good on a future Psych resume but I can’t help feeling like I’m taking it more for show than anything else.
That book arts class though? Yeah. That feels right. I take immense pleasure and pride from making something with my own two hands. I just do. The act itself of creating is a therapeutic process in which I become so engrossed in what I am doing that nothing else could possibly matter. My Psych of Happiness professor called that phenomena “flow.”
Recently all of my best friends came out with excellent and surprising news that inevitably ended with all three of them moving up to Nor Cal rather shortly and unexpected. I’m happy for them, fuck am I happy and proud of these people that I’ve shared my best and worst moments with. I’m so proud of their success and that they’re following their dreams, that they’re growing up so wonderfully right before my eyes.
But behind my cheers and grins, inside I could feel my panic rising. What are you doing that’s worth cheering? I keep having this feeling rise up that I haven’t accomplished that I have wanted to,  that I am not quite what I always anticipated I’d become. This feeling of being lost and not knowing what I’m doing next. Then I have to slow it down (my breathing, usually, to stop the surmounting panic attack that’s about to extinguish my reasoning), and remind myself not of where I am but of where I’m going.
I’m graduating soon. I will have earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UC Riverside.
I’m hard on myself, yes. I know that I’m capable of more, that I should have finished earlier, that I should have done better. But fuck it. Why live in the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s? I did what I could and the finish line is within my horizon and I get to easily traipse across it now.
Now I’ll be able to focus more on what feels right, anyway, without fear. I’ll have the advancement of my degree to pursue in the not-too-distant future but for now I want to focus on me, on my needs, and on creating, on exploring, on adventures.
My friends might acknowledge that I’m always throwing out random ideas to visit far-away places. Which of course no one can afford, always to my chagrin. But that’s okay.
I always find a way.

alternative to nothing

Monday, October 15, 2012

Recently, I got a tattoo. Another one. It's surprisingly large and on my leg, sorry I haven't really made an effort to take a good picture of it just yet so you'll have to wait for that. The point is that it's a rather large one (what else can I say besides every single person who's seen it has exclaimed, "It's so big!" [inb4 that's what she said]) and located on my thigh. That means it's rather easy to hide (except for the godawful California heat) but also easy to show off, it's the perfect mix!

At least I thought so.

Not surprisingly, as soon as my mother saw it she scowled and said (once again), "It's so big... and ugly." Ouch. I expect nothing else, though. What she said next however, did surprise me.

She admitted that whenever she sees anyone covered in tattoos (as I inadvertently am now, apparently) her first thought is drug addict.

Double ouch.

I'm a good kid (erm, I mean adult. Duh.), I go to school, I work, I'm slightly liberal and uh... green friendly, but lets not get into that. It was a little disappointing to hear my mom have such ridiculous ideas but I can't blame her for it, it's a different day and age.

...Even though tattoos have existed for eons, but this isn't a history lesson.

Today it is almost surprising to hear about someone who does not have a tattoo, but perhaps that has a lot to do with the crowd I run with. I know many people, many many people, who have all kinds of tattoos: large ones, small ones, hidden ones, and blatant ones. Most of them have some deep, emotional, and heartfelt meaning, some just look pretty.

What used to be an alternative lifestyle, isn't anymore.

So if you've got tattoos, I want to shoot you so we can show the world what we're made of.

This is Evelyn Phelps.

On her wrists Evelyn has the dopamine chemical structure and the infinity sign.

On her back she has "Cogito ergo sum," I think, therefore I am.

oh please stay just this once anyway

Saturday, September 29, 2012

German Love by Starfucker on Grooveshark

What a bust! After all the trouble I went through to get my camera into the UCR Block Party last night, I didn't even have the equipment to follow-through. My little 50mm 1.8 lens might be superb for close-quarter shows like Sondre's at The Troubadour, but it's small reach is nothing for a real show when you're farther than 10 feet from the band. I ought to have known, but it's a lesson I wont soon forget.

I can't deny this is an expensive hobby, but for all the joy I get out of it it's definitely worth it. I have a mental list in my head of the lenses that I desire and their purpose: the wide-angle for stargazing and landscapes, the 85mm and 35mm for portraits, and now I know I need a damn good quality zoom lens for live music.

For all the years I've spent at UC Riverside I've really never felt like I belong and I felt that tinge again last night when they welcomed in the Freshman. It's my own fault for never getting involved on-campus though. I still had a good time last night, boasting about being on Starfucker's guest list (oh, the wonders of twitter) and overhearing people's conversations.

Going through the photos again I can't decide if through color-editing I have Autumn on my mind or of the foliage really is starting to represent the correct season. Either way I eagerly anticipate sweater weather and overcast skies with luscious clouds.


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