Friday, December 31, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Well, Merry Christmas everyone! You're probably all thinking, "What kind of sad person has time or desire to blog on actual Christmas Day?" That kind of person is me, friends. But when you have 16 people in one smallish house and everyone's talking and there's not enough room for us to all spread out and nap after the big meal...it's nice to get away from it all for a few minutes or so.
So here I am, chatting to you fine people. I'll keep it short, as I want to resume my lounging and wine-drinking as soon as possible (the true reason for the season.)
What's so sparkle, sparkle (or sparlke, sparkle as the case may be) about Christmas? Besides the glitter that comes attached to every ornament, headband, shoe and decoration associated with Christmastime? Let's take a moment to remember the more important sparkly aspects of this time of year.
There's the sparkly spirit of Christmas. Sure, we all have reasons and moments that we don't feel our best around the holidays. It could be an overwhelming amount of things on our to do lists or just that "crowded lonely" feeling - you know the one, TOO many people, still feeling alone. But I think when it comes down to it, some of the best qualities of human nature are promoted and celebrated at Christmas. Peace, joy, generosity and love are *hopefully* in abundance. And I hope we all have enough sparkle, sparkle in us to keep that goodwill spinning through the world after all is said and done too.
If you don't get to see your family that often (which I don't anymore) there's the sparkly feeling of being back with loved ones that you can count on. I sang with the church choir this morning and from the balcony I could see my whole family taking up a pew and a half, and I just felt so blessed. I'm pretty tight with the fam, and remembering that sure makes my heart sparkle, sparkle. They're the star to my Christmas tree, if you will.
And of course, there's the truest and most lovely sparkle of all - the fact that Christmas is really about the celebration of Christ and his birth. A Savior who came to the world, gave up hanging out in heaven and became a person, just to save my life? Pretty sparkle, sparkle.
Merry Christmas, ya'll. Friends afar, I wish I could see you today, but know that I'm thinking of you all and missing you dearly. Hope you sparkle all day long.
Friday, December 17, 2010
|Official Bloggy Photo of Just My Head|
I'm the other sparkle, in "Sparkle Sparkle". In fact, some would say I'm the "sparlke" ;-)
I really am sorry I have been so MIA these past sparkly months, but truth be told, it might have been a good thing. You see, in my graduate program, I have to write. A lot. So much so that I really began to resent the written word in all shapes and sizes. Every time I thought about writing a blog post, the following would happen.
1. Groan about having to write papers. Become anxious about sitting in front of the computer to type something.
2. Look down at my soon-to-be arthritic hands (from typing over 200 pages this semester)
3. Think to myself "What do I have to tell the world, anyway?"
So you see, had I actually written a post, it probably would it of have been negative, snarky and resentful of paper writing.
But! Miracle of miracles, Winter Break is upon us. What does that mean? My grumbles about the world are becoming more faint, and I'm ready to type again! So, followers new and old, what in the world shall I blog about? I'd like to log some blog (rhyming! i dig it!) time this break, and until inspiration nudges me in the "write" (puns! what fun!) direction, I'm open to suggestions. Let's hear 'em! I'll do my best to appease.
Thanks for welcoming me back into your virtual lives, y'all. I'm excited to be back!
Monday, December 13, 2010
Here is a 6-color screenprint. Probably one of my favorite techniques, because you get to use lots of color and a squeegee.
Literally all of the light fixtures in my grandmother's house. Except for the chandelier. I just made that up for kicks.
Well, I hope you've enjoyed this adventure into my "art." Thanks for scrolling!
Friday, December 10, 2010
I am oh-so-excited to bust out my 87th box of Christmas balls for the tree!
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Here's how I figure it. At this age, my mother, grandmothers, great grandmothers, etc. were all already married and starting to run their own households. So my recent obsession with homeware is clearly just genetics. It's time for me to be a person! A real person who has her own space. I don't care if my own space is 400 square feet. I don't need a lot of it, I just need some.
The other day I was watching my aunt do some rug hooking (don't ask me to explain it) and I had a sudden, uncontrollable urge to make coasters. For my home. Which does not exist. A week before that, I drifted off into daydreams about picking out place settings. In my home. Which does not exist. And yesterday, I couldn't help but google search dinner party ideas, of which I will host many...in my home. Which does not exist. Am I painting you a pretty picture? As Will Ferrell famously said, "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"
But before you judge me too much for this, let me just ask you. When's the last time you thought about your future? Probably, like, this morning. Everyone thinks about the future. It's impossible not to. Now most people think about it in terms of school, jobs and family. I just happen to be in interior decorating mode. So cut me some slack, alright? And if you really love me, you'll buy me something from Pier 1.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
1. All skirts should be made with a slick lining so that they don't stick to your tights. Am I right, ladies? No awkward clinging.
2. Cupcakes would be an essential part of a balanced diet. Frosting would only make you healthier.
3. Everyone should have to rock/hold a baby for at least 30 minutes a week. Check this out for reasons why (Thanks for the link, Deva!) http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/08/fighting-bullying-with-babies/
4. Mixers and meeting new people would somehow magically not be awkward or frightening at all. Maybe I'm just being a whiner on this one. Whatever. Large groups of new people overwhelm me.
5. AT&T would build a tower riiiiight outside Seward so I wouldn't have to suffer through an average of 4 dropped calls per conversation.
6. Fluorescent lighting would NEVER be used in bathrooms or dressing rooms. This seems ridiculously logical, I'm not even sure why I have to bring it up.
7. Dance parties would be a regular occurrence. As in every day.
Granted, some of these involve changing laws of food chemistry, but overall I really don't think I'm asking for too much. So if any of you run for office someday, you know what issues are the most important to this constituent.
Have a sparkly weekend, friends. :)
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The idea of a single moment that suddenly rights everything that had previously gone wrong is sort of strange. If you've spent so long feeling upset about something, is it realistic to think that *click!* you'll just feel better about it? I have to think that people who say things like, "I just woke up one morning and realized it wasn't worth worrying about..." are kind of lying. Because let's face it. Has that ever actually happened to you? Really, has it? If so, then I'm totally jealous. I'm sure it would be nice to magically be able to walk away from one emotional state at the drop of a hat. It would be so incredibly convenient.
However, I'm sure I'm not shocking anyone when I say that I don't think life is supposed to be convenient. I think we get punches thrown at us and obstacles placed in front of us and floors dropped out from beneath us for a reason. Because if everything was convenient, it wouldn't be called life. It would be called "Disney." And don't get me wrong, I love Disney movies and Disney World. For better or worse, real life is just that, it's real. And it's what we have to work with.
When I don't get closure on a situation, it tends to fill my entire mind. I literally can't think about anything else except the situation that's bothering me. There's no moment when my brain completely empties out. But the dust of that situation does seem to clear out over time. (And as my good friend Mr. Ben Folds says, "Time takes time, you know.") And I have a confession to make. Sometimes, that real life feeling, that one that makes you want to throw yourself off a building, that grit between your teeth - sometimes it feels right. We shouldn't just turn our backs on people, places or the past. We have to learn to deal with them. Because whatever we experience will always be a part of us, whether we like it or not.
So maybe instead of trying to find closure, we should try to fashion our pain and confusion into something that gives us a backbone. Don't we always think of the strongest people as the ones who have gone through a lot of crap in their lives? I'm not saying my life has been terrible or hard by any means. I've been really blessed. But I feel like I should try and take the hard parts and make them useful. (I think our grandparents would call that "building character.") So I'm voting "overrated" for this week's poll. I'm going to use everything I've got in my life's arsenal - pretty and ugly. Won't you join me? :)
Monday, November 15, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
I just registered for my last semester of grad school classes. After I get through next semester, I just have an internship and then next December, voila! I am an MSW. Where is all this time going? Didn't I just start high school a few years ago? I am feeling really impressed that I've been able to pack so much action into the last nine years.
I often wonder what will happen and what I will be thinking this time next year, or this time two years from now. The truth is, I can't even imagine it. I can't imagine what having a full time job will be like, or what that job will be, or where it will be...it's just that so much has changed in what seems like just a short amount of time.
When Abby and I were Sophomore's in HS, we used to pass notes back and forth to each other during the passing periods. We didn't have any classes together, or maybe just one, but we refused to let this stop our communication throughout the day.
The notes were filled with the plans we had for our lives. Where would we live? Who would we marry? It seems a little 1950s, but honestly, I never really thought about what I would do for a living until oh, probably my Junior year of college. It never occurred to me that I would have to provide for myself, or that I should plan on doing anything other than Dance for the rest of my years.
Now look at me. Look at us. I wish I could still pass you notes, Abba. I guess in a lot of ways we still pass "notes". But I just can't get over how quickly everything happened, and how far off our 16-year-old predictions for ourselves were.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
And one of the things that comes along with winter is the recent memory of one day in Valpo when we had a little blizzard and got about 22 inches of snow in 3 hours. Remember that, Valpo-ites? There was snow up to my hip! The Wal-Mart closed the next day! But wait, I seem to remember... yes. We still had class. You couldn't make a Wal-Mart run to grab bottled water and canned goods but I probably still had to go to some crummy PR class.
And now I hear all this news via Facebook newsfeed that there was a tornado warning in Valpo and they cancelled class! No actual funnel cloud in site! Just a "warning." What kind of wimpy school did I go to?? Which leads me to my thesis statement...
Kids these days. (Picture me shaking my smirking face and rolling my eyes.)
In all seriousness though, it's interesting to think about our generation growing up and becoming parents and (eek) grandparents someday. Will we still be as attached to our cell phones as we are now? I admit, I kind of freak out if I leave home without mine. Will women be updating their facebook statuses as they go into labor? Will guys twitter their way through a business deal? What will this do to our kids? I suppose they'll probably be sending mind signals to their friends.
And I know we've all asked ourselves, "Is this Ke$ha song going to be considered an 'Oldie' someday?" I don't even know if I'm old enough to be listening to her lyrics. Why didn't the foxtrot or the waltz come back into style? It seems as though the bump 'n grind is here to stay. And this doesn't even begin to touch on all of the political, economic and social issues that seem to be worsening with every year.
Obviously, every generation has its own issues. Even the 1950s was merely another decade parading around as Pleasantville nostalgia. I just wonder if the things that make our generation weaker and more materialistic will only explode further as time goes on. Maybe our kids will reject our crazy, quick-as-lightning society and calm down a little. Or maybe not. I hope they'll inherit some of our common sense, but maybe not as much of the cynicism that often taints our age group. Take the tenacity, leave the arrogance. Take the willingness, leave the self-centeredness.
And then somedays I just feel like a kid myself, and I want my mom to fix everything for me. It takes a lot of energy to grow up properly, and life doesn't do us many favors. However, I'm pretty convinced that we as a generation won't turn out to be total losers. Although there's still a few years to go as the results come in... :)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Now, I actually find this look pretty cute. The jacket is funky, the jeans are normal (shocking for a runway look) and the t-shirt gives that envied "I just escaped a slasher film" vibe.
It has a hood. Need I say more? Gem.
I think it's unfortunate they forgot to sew on the second half of her dress... PSYCH! It's supposed to be that way. It's fashion. If you don't get it, I'm not even going to try and explain it to you.
Needless to say, I will be sporting all of these looks as soon as I can my hands on the Target version of them. And Michael Kors, if you're reading this, I think your collections are always lovely.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Today I’m going to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: Feminism! (yes, males, you may groan and roll your eyes at this point. But I urge you to read on...)
Now, feminism means many different things to different people. To some, it’s the ultimate political, social and economic utopia. Away with men! Women can do it ALL on their own! Except reproduce, but let’s not talk about that. I’m sure there are ways to do that without men, too. Science, probably. To others, feminism conjures up images of forest women burning their bras and growing leg hair that rivals the burliest of men. It’s for crazies, hippies and liberals. And then there are others who hang quietly in the middle. I like to think of myself in this category.
I generally think the basic idea of feminism is fine. Women should be granted the same rights and privileges as men, especially when it’s something so simple as voting, owning property, and bringing home the bacon. But these battles have already been fought and won, and feminism's goals have changed. Unfortunately, feminism now sometimes casts a negative light on those women who do not ferociously seek the traditionally held male positions in society: high political figures, CEOs, university presidents, etc. When women reach a plateau in their life that isn’t the upper most echelon, hardcore feminists may wonder why they quit. This thought seems even more common when feminists think about women who choose to walk away from academia or the work force to have children and raise a family.
Now, I would be straight up lying if I said the number one thing I wanted to do in life is to get my PhD and run an art museum. It would be pretty sweet, but the really number one thing I want to do is get married, have kids and be a stay-at-home mom. Even as I type this, I’m sort of cringing, because our sometimes-feminist society has taught me that I can be “better” than that. That I can get that PhD, that I can climb the corporate ladder and get an amazing job, and that I can do all of this without a man or kids in my life. Heck, the family is only going to slow me down, right?
Why is raising a family the “old-fashioned” way somehow considered copping out these days? Sure there are people who still think it’s admirable, but it seems as though that population is quickly decreasing. Personally, I think helping small people somehow become good big people is a pretty big and important task. I mean look at the state of today’s youth...yikes. Plus, isn't birthing children the ultimate feminist act? When Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to have a baby in that freakish movie from the 90s, it made me want to gouge my eyes out. Pregnant men aren't natural. I just wish all of this was a more commonly held view. Or maybe it is, but people (women) are afraid to say it because they think they’ll look weak or unintelligent.
Basically what I’m saying at the end of the day is this: I want a nice husband. I want a couple of kids. I want to hang out with them and bake them cupcakes at the end of a long day. Yes, I’ll keep studying and pushing my way to that art museum dream. And I am genuinely excited about that road too. But don’t think I’m not really hoping and praying for some tiny hands and feet in my future.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Now, before I go all melty on you, I just have to say ONE thing that I've (re-)learned from this experience...
Thank goodness junior high is a thing of the past.
I had forgotten just how terrifying every day was, trying to be noticed but not if it was going to bring teasing, trying to wear cute clothes but not looking overdone, trying to hang out with guys but NOT letting them know who you really like! Everything you do or say is judged and analyzed immediately by 8 different people, and you've got about a 3% chance of coming off cool. As soon as field trips are announced it's a mad dash to find a seat partner, especially if you have an odd number of people in your class. Becoming "popular" is probably the most attainable good in life. And never let anyone know you're smart, a family fan or musically talented. Those will get you nowhere in 8th grade.
So like I said, thank goodness I'm not in junior high anymore. But wait a second... I'm sensing some kind of trend here... Let's face it, high school is basically an extension of junior high, with more questionable characters out there. And now we all know, in many ways, college is kind of just like high school except you eat more late-night drive through food. And now we're in the real world and...wait. It's still basically the same. Let's delve, shall we?
1. Trying to be noticed but not if it gets you teased - still happens. Of course at this age, the goal is to avoid the "Uh, do you know what you're doing?"
2. Trying to wear cute clothes but not be overdone -my every-morning challenge.
3. Trying to hang out with guys without letting them know who you really like - it's only more complicated now. And that probably deserves its own post.
4. Being judged and usually not ending up cool - still happens. Don't try to hide it.
5. Trying to find a seat partner - maybe not a seat partner, but I still want friends, ok?? Preferably in even numbers because I'm crazy like that.
6. Becoming popular is a huge goal - if popular means that people like me, then yes, still happens.
7. Don't let people know you're smart, family oriented or musical - this might be the one thing that's different. Although I still don't like to sing for people.
Have I made my point? Overly so? Sure, we're not in junior high anymore, but we're still trying to figure out life. So I can't blame the girls too much, because when it comes down to it, I know exactly what they're going through.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
As I was driving today, I flicked through the radio stations per usual and was struck by a duet that sounded as if it were being sung by the stars of Kidz Bop. Childish voices aside, the lyrics to the chorus were "something something You smile, I smile." And there were some other words in there, but I don't remember them. Now, I can't tell you if this song is new or old or what, but I had never heard it before and it made me think of the following things:
1. How refreshing it is to hear a song about young love that DOESN'T induce images of teenagers who aren't leaving room for the Holy Spirit OR oxygen molecules. Maybe these parts were included in the verse, who's to say, but the chorus was just that sweet line over and over and over again...
2. (Here's where I'm really packing the punch) What a true sentiment! And I think that despite its pop song origin, it really hits at something that is so innate in people. How often do you scowl at someone who genuinely smiles at you? It's basically an involuntary reaction to smile back. And initiating the smile is a little like saying, "You. You exist in the world, and I acknowledge your humanity as a good thing." This is why even when I'm having a bad day, and I feel like I'm at the end of my rope, I still try to smile at people. Because as someone famous who's escaping my mind once said, "Be kind to all, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." I figure it's the least I can do to show my empathy for the battles that others are fighting. I know I can use all the help I can get with mine.
So, smile at your friends and family. Smile at your neighbors. Smile at strangers. Smile at your co-workers, the grocery check-out lady and the mailman. And remember, kids, "You smile, I smile."
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
The answer, my friends, is sarcasm. Or perhaps cynicism. Although I like to think it hasn't gotten that bad yet.
Yes, my general outlook on life is one of sarcasm, proven by the amount of times I think to myself, "My life is one huge practical joke." I very much dislike that I can't stand corny, romantic gestures. That I get uncomfortable with people talking overly emotionally about their personal lives. That even TV shows where boy meets girl make my gag reflex spring into action. It's like I just don't believe those things are real. (I blame this on the real-life male population.)
Basically what I'm saying is this. My approach to life as of late, has been one where I look for any and all opportunities to sarcastically scoff at the situation at hand. Probably because I don't know how to feel passionate about it. (Am I sounding intellectual yet? I haven't made any snide remarks this paragraph. Wait...) At any rate, I'm sure it's emotionally unhealthy and I plan to get on a strict regiment of chick flicks and hallmark greeting cards ASAP. (sorry.)
Keep your fingers crossed that I don't keep this up for the rest of my life, or my children - should I bear any - will be even more screwed up than I am.
Sarcasm just threw philosophy out of the ring.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Dance? And dogs?
Duh. Why didn't I think of this. It is such perfection.
Mad props to J.Deal for enlightening me.
<3 That's all.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
That's why we created this blog anyways, to celebrate the support system of friendship.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
So yeah... feedback... give it to us. POR FAVOR! MERCI!