Monday, January 30, 2012

2 days...

...until i leave the country. and i'm freaking out.

just thought i'd let you know. in case you were wondering about my current mental state in regards to the next six months of my life.

frantic. frazzled. freaking out. fret. fret. fret.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011: in review

So, it's January right? As I’ve already talked about, this year has been hectic from day one. Because of this I haven't really had time to reflect on 2011 as much as I would have liked. As I was moving back to St. George two days ago in my belonging-laden car, one of my new favorite songs started playing on my iPod. I found myself completely engulfed in just how good it was and I realized that not only was it one of my favorite songs of last year but that the whole album and artist were my favorites as well. And from this small thought a blog post was born! 

2011 favorites:
Artist: Greg Holden. he's a relatively small British artist who writes beautifully simple songs that suit his voice just perfectly. His album I don't believe you is all worth listening to but my favorite song is easily are we wasted:
(Because Greg is such an unknown artist this is the only version of this song I could find on YouTube.)
Honorable mentions: Broken Bells, Parachute, Adele, (I’m already shaking my head over this next one) Nicki Minaj, Florence and the Machine, and Emily Haines and the Soft Skeletal. 

Rediscovered artists: Jonezetta. I used to be a pretty big fan of these guys in high school buuut their newest album (which came out like mid 2009… and yes, I realize I’m way behind) has completely reconverted me. I’m a Jonezetta-liber once again. Favorite new song: paint and picture or cruel to be young. Favorite old song: communicate or backstabber. 

Album:  Ceremonials by Florence and the Machine. Favorite song: if only for a night. 
Honestly you guys, it’s one of those songs that every time I hear it I am required to turn my volume up as loud as I can stand it. It’s that good. Listen to it with headphones, trust me. 
Honorable mentions: I don't believe you by Greg Holden as stated above. The whole thing is worth listening to.
How to train your dragon OST. I fully realize that this came out in 2010 but 2011 is when I discovered it. You guys, I love this cd. I’ve always had this weird thing for Irish anything and this soundtrack manages to weave that Celtic feeling into each song so perfectly that it hushes my craving to someday see those Irish shores, if only for 24 3 minute periods. Favorite song? Forbidden friendship. I love this song so much that I based an entire art project around it. (haha if that wasn't the most pretentious thing I've said in a long time...)
Honorable, honorable mention:
Vices and Virtues by Panic! At The Disco. I just like the song ready to go, so I thought I’d throw this one out there in case you’re like me and you kind of forgot that Panic! At The Disco is still a thing.

Song: Always Remember Me by Ry Cumming. I'm still trying really hard to find someone who is willing to learn to play this on the guitar for me. Insta- Swoon.
Honorable mentions:
Replaced by Katie
What I know by Parachute
Never going back again by Fleetwood Mac
Crossfire by Brandon Flowers
Titanium by David Guetta ft Sia
Our hell by Emily Haines and the soft skeletal. 
Young blood by the naked and famous
Passenger’s Seat by Death Cab for Cutie (I realize this is an old song but I didn’t find out about it until about June-ish. not my fault I’m way behind.)

Artist I never thought I’d willingly put on my iPod: maroon 5. Stutter…. yes please. Also, moves like Jagger. I’m questioning all my own music taste at this point.
Honorable mention: John Meyer. Seriously, WHO AM I?!

Movie: if we're judging solely on the amount of times I’ve watched it, then my favorite has to be Easy A. however, I do claim The Fall as my favorite of the year. (However, I may have discovered this movie at the very end of 2010. eh. technicalities.)
Honorable mentions: 
Limitless- I loved the premise of this movie.
The Help- as much as I didn't want to let this movie affect me, it definitely did. Also, it has Emma Stone in it. LOOOOVE her.

Book: The Picture of Dorian Gray. Oscar Wilde is such a profound and talented writer and this book got me willing to attempt to love more classic works. 
Honorable mention: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Guys, I’m not even done with this book yet and I’m so totally in love with it. The writing is touching and beautiful and poetic. Jonathan Safran Foer is brilliant. 

New TV showModern Family. A girl I worked with finally got me to start watching this show and I instantly fell in love. It’s sassy, smart and entertaining, what more can you honestly ask for?
Honorable mention:
Raising Hope. The first time I watched this show I absolutely hated it. Ask Trina, I went off about how stupid it was for about ten minutes. For reasons unknown to me I attempted watching it again aaand it's now safe to say it's one of my favorites. If you like satirical humor about lower class white folk this show will definitely deliver. 

Person: Jk I couldn't do that. But Trina has put up with me for yet another year, which I feel definitely warrants recognition... just putting that out there. 

Best pet fish: Oscar. Hands down. 

Website:, it's basically an online journal of sorts. It's based on the premise that it takes 750 words to get the creativity blood flowing through their fingers.  The creator of the website encourages his users to basically word vomit for 750 words, every single day. That's it. It’s nice, simple and private. best of all though, they take what you've written and they analyze it, telling you how fast you typed, how consistent your writing was, the content you wrote about (us, I, or them, or family vs. work, or past, present or future.) if you use the website as a brain dumping ground it's really eye opening to see exactly where your thoughts lie. 
Honorable mention:; those who know me, know how visual I am. I'm pretty sure one day I wished I could save everything I loved on the internet in one, visual spot, and somehow someone heard me and decided to call it Pinterest. And that's how it came to be. Pinterest helps me organize all the wonderful/weird things I find on the internet in one easy to see place. This helps to cut down on the number of tabs I have open on my browser at any given time, which apparently isn't normal if I am to judge based off people's reactions when I open my web browser. 

Web series: Very Mary Kate. I quote this, not even kidding, daily. Everything from "be quiet evil dragon, I'm trying to have a conversation *disgusted look*" to "my toes is froze, my nose is froze, and my kimono's froze" to "" to "don't cry M cakes, it's gross" to "ooh Nana Troll Face will be thrilled." to "comet, comet, comet, comet, comet. Yay, I have an island!" to "'NYU? more like N-why are you yelling?' 'I'm not yellling.' 'Yes, you are you're so loud!' 'No, I'm not. I'm sure of it, I'm emotionally shut down.'" to "can you bring me a blanket? it's like really brrrrr in here" yes, I just pulled all of those from memory. I can watch her videos over and over and over again and they're still just as funny every time. 
Honorable Mention: I don't know if he counts but since this is my list I'm making it count; Peter Lee Johnson takes popular songs and plays them on his violin and then posts the songs to his youtube channel. And he's freaking good at it. I know I've posted some of his covers on here before but his music makes me so happy that I have no problem talking about it again. 

Picture: (to the right) This is one of the first pictures I took with my new lens. Everything about this makes me so happy, and that's what photography is supposed to do, right? Right.

Habit acquired: chewing ice. I feel bad for everyone who had to deal with me for the six months of this past year where chewing ice was my thing. So sorry Trina. 
Honorable mention: 
-Doing my nails. I never thought I’d be one of those girls who spends stupid amounts of time on her nails… but now I am. Still unsure how I feel about this.
-completely disregarding time. This is definitely one of the more dangerous, albeit freeing, habits that I've acquired in quite some time. 

Habit vanquished: Chewing Ice. Turns out I really was anemic and all it took was consistent dosage of a small white pill, once a day to rid me of it. Who knew, right?

Best decision: getting a job at Kiddie Kandids. Not only did I get a chance to work with some really great people who helped me learn a lot about what's important in life, but I also gained confidence in my own photography skills. This has already benefited me tremendously. Oh, and I earned money so I could continue... you know... living. 

Worst memory: losing my job in September. Looking back, I probably did the most growing as an adult in September; it was easily the most impacting month of the year for me. I met some of the greatest people in my daily life today back then and I also lost some of the most influential people in my life as well. I got a job that furthered my passions. And I took classes that solidified choices I was making with a career path in mind. Win some, lose some.

Best purchase: My lens; 50mm f/1.8. This baby has make it possible for me to take the shots I've been craving for over a year now. Everything is more crisp and a little closer to perfect. 
Honorable mention: stereo for my car. In July I broke down and spent about $100 on a sound system of sorts. It's not the best but it's definitely better than listening to the 75-ish CD mixes I burned in high school every time I drove back and forth from Logan to St.George. I used to listen to the weirdest stuff....

Worst decision: To bleach and re-dye my hair myself. I have too much hair and not enough patience for that to have turned out well. But I’m too cheap to go and have it professionally fixed so to this day I still have nice and patchy hair. Awesome. 
Honorable mention: to be the one with the utilities under my name at my apartment during the summer. My two old roommates still owe me a collective $140. That's an entire paycheck to me. This still bugs me daily. 

Biggest accomplishmentsLosing weight. Yes, I realize that's such a girl thing to say, but it's the truth. Not only do I feel better physically but I feel better about myself mentally as well. 

More Life Altering Things: 
*Parent’s moving from the house I've lived in since I was seven. 
*In July my grandfather died. That was the first funeral I've ever been to for someone that I was not only close with but who had actually impacted my life as well. It was pretty rough. 
*Keeping a more consistent blog; I wrote nightly in a journal from the time I was 16 until I turned about 20 and started going through a rough patch that I didn't want to remember. Blogging has helped me write down and keep track of more of those memories I don't want to forget. 
*My roommate from last year, Katie Berryessa-now-Gish got married in June. 

Best realization: that I’ve finally overcome most of the short comings that have been holding me back since I was 14. I've managed to conquer unnecessary social fears I've been harboring for far too long. Also, my happy days have outweighed my stressed out days, and that is the most clear mark of a good year. I’ve done a lot of growing this year, a lot more than I was expecting out of my second year from school. 2011 has definitely been a year that I can look back on and see that the blessings have overwhelmingly outweighed the trials.  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

the girl who cried wolf. repeatedly.

remember the boy who cried wolf? yeah, i've basically become that boy. except instead of crying wolf i'm crying "hey i'm moving today." five days in a row. this time though, i really am moving back. my car is completely packed and my room is not only devoid of any personality but it is also finally sold. halle-freaking-lujah. much to katrina's joy i sold my contract to a nice asian girl named sujan... sujin.... sewjan? i don't even know. but what i do know is she's pleasant and she also didn't know what 24/7 meant... so it wasn't until after i explained that to her that she wanted my contract.

my reason for not leaving today is not only a matter of $50 but it's also a matter of pride. when i turned my apartment key, laundry card and laundry room key back to the apartment's office i thought i was finally free and that i could stop worrying about loose ends here. one quick phone call from the office proved otherwise.

you see, there are these bracelets, kinda like live strong bracelets, they hand out at the beginning of the year. these bracelets are to be worn at all times inside the pool. super gay, i am aware. me being me and logan being freezing logan, i've never once had the desire to use that bracelet to swim in the pool. because of this i didn't even think twice about them needing that bracelet back, but they do. they need it back so badly that if i don't return it within a week, they're going to charge me $50.

this is a huge problem for two reasons:

A) i know i have that bracelet and i refuse to pay $50 for something i never even used or even wanted for that matter.

B) all of my stuff is currently tightly packed in boxes in one of two places. either it's sardine-d in my car in such a way that i'll never find it, or it's in the basement of my dad's company's office building in smithfield, which is 20 minutes away, which is locked up until business hours tomorrow.

either way i wasn't going to be able to find it tonight.

my solution to this problem? go to taco tuesday with katrina, aj, and ben. made sense at the time.

this time, for reals, i'm moving back home tomorrow.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

obligatory resolution post.

if one was to judge my new years resolutions based solely on how often, or how not often, i've posted on this blog lately one would assume i've made no resolutions at all; which would unfortunately be true. so that's what i'm attempting to do right now.

it's taken me an extra week longer than everyone else to finally sit down and write resolutions because life has been intense lately. this is my second to last night here in logan and i'm still stressing over selling my contract, getting my visa and signing up for classes for this semester. kids, life is crazy. even though i'm nearly 99% sure i'm not going to remember that i've made these resolutions by the end of the month, let alone the end of the year, i'm still going to make them (if i seem to be talking myself in circles it's because i just woke up from a 2 1/2 hour nap and talladega nights is on tv, and while i'm not very fond of this show it's still substantially distracting.)

i haven't really spent much time thinking of resolutions for this year. i'm doing so many things so soon that are so out of my comfort zone that i know personal growth is inevitable.
anyway, let the resolutions begin:

  • exercise/health. last semester i was lucky enough to have a schedule that automatically made me walk daily due to how insanely far my classes were from the shuttle stop. that distance was intensified because of my affinity for the snooze button and my ever astounding ability to be late for everything. i don't know how daily life is going to be once i'm in austria but hopefully there is an adequate amount of walking involved. i also want to start eating more a more healthy and well balanced diet. over all i would really like to lose another 15 lbs, but if i manage to maintain the weight i am now i'll be happy.
  • money. as my money situation currently stands i am going to be completely broke after my little study abroad expedition. i want to somehow save up enough money so i don't have to rely on loans to get back up here to usu in the fall. 
  • photography. i feel like my project 365 did me a lot of good last year but i don't feel as though i'll benefit from it as much this year. therefore, my new goal is to focus more on taking pictures for other people, getting sessions, and growing in the business aspect of things. working for kiddie kandids helped me be more sure of myself when it comes to portraits and i want to continue growing in that direction. i also have a few photoshoots and photo techniques in mind that i want to try my hand at: such as levitating and using a flash ring. overall i want to still take at least 30 flickr worthy pictures every month, which is essentially the same as my project 365, but with less emphasis on daily photo taking.
  • reading. i really slacked off reading in 2011 and i want to get back into that. i would love to take the 50 book challenge this year but i feel like with all the traveling i'm going to be doing, that would be a stiflingly ambitious so instead i'm going to say i want to read at least 25 books this year, with at least 5 of those books being classics. 
  • writing. two years ago i bought the most beautiful journal for my pending study abroad adventures. my goal is to have that journal completely full by the end of this year. i guess i should stick a resolution about blogging in here as well. although i loved blogging every day in august 2011, i'm mostly concerned about my private writings this year so making a goal to blog everyday or even 5 times a week would be out of reach. therefore i want to blog around 4-5 times a month. i'm sure i'll have enough pictures or stories to tell you guys about my travels that this will be a piece of cake.  i also want to get myself writing poetry again. it's been far too long since i wrote anything worth being proud of.
  • traveling. this one is probably going to be the easiest to accomplish. i want to become extremely familiar with europe. while i realize it's probably unrealistic to think i'll be able to travel everywhere that i want to before i leave, i want to at least make sure i end up in ireland. i've felt a strange compulsion to visit there for years now and it's time to figure out why that is.
  • friends. i feel like i've met more good people and established more solid friendships this year than i have since i was in elementary school when becoming best friends with people was easy. i really hope to continue that trend this year. maaaybe even establish some relationships outside the realm of "just friends" as well, if you know what i mean. 
  • sleep. i just want at least get myself to the point where my sleep schedule is at least semi close to the time zone that i actually live in and not off in new zeland where it is right now. 
  • creativity. this year i'm going to learn to paint with water colors. i really just want to draw more, get to know myself and what i really am capable of artistically and creatively.
  • schooling. school kind of took a back seat this year to important things... such as playing... and sleeping, but next year i want to take it a little bit more seriously. i want to apply and get accepted into the art and graphic design program here, getting at least a 3.75 every semester. i want to stop procrastinating assignments and to ultimately be able to look at each project i compete and be able to honestly say it was my best work. 
so far 2011 has been one of my favorite years and i can't help but think 2012 is going to be even better, and if things to the way they already have been it definitely will be. 

our attempt to write 2012! in sparklers. it was.... semi successful?

in unrelated news: want to hear one of my favorite songs as of late? ok!

i can't decide if i like the original better or this cover by ingrid michaelson.