Friday, December 31, 2010

Auld Lang Syne! Or something.

Would someone please clue me into what "Auld Lang Syne" actually means? Maybe I'm the last to figure this out, but it's still a random accumulation of letters to me. First one to answer has my best wishes for the new year!

So 2010. What a year. I'd like to take this time to recap some of the highlights of the past 365 days. Feel free to skim, skip or add your own in the comment section!

January: This was quite a long time ago. I don't really remember any significant happenings besides the birthday of my sparkly best, Deva!

February: Once again, the shortest month. Probably it was cold in Valpo.

March: Last domestic Chorale tour...around the midwest. Woo! Trying to get 45 of my peers to pay attention when I tell them where to stand was never so A. Rewarding, B. Overwhelming, C. Joyous or D. Pointless. Take your pick!

April: An up and down month, if I recall. Spending a few days blitzed in Montana at NCUR was pretty fun. Dealing with a very sad death on Valpo's campus was not. Someone should have said, "Beware the ides of April."

May: Holy cow, what a eventful month! Last undergrad finals ever, Duffy's brat fry, the 22nd anniversary of my birth, a little thing called graduation, Chorale tour to Germany.... phew! I'm actually surprised I fit all that in in 31 days.

June: Blech.

July: Gag.

August: Exhausted.

September: Finally settling into the new job. Accepting life changes (sort of.) Found another school that does not have off Labor Day.

October: Coached a lot of junior high volleyball, which was truly a joy. Jetsetted to Chicago to check out the Art Institute and while there, saw the Lion King with my dad - very cool show!

November: Printmaking like a madwoman. Spent my first Thanksgiving in Nebraska, which basically felt like an early Christmas.

December: Whoa! All of a sudden, we are at the end of the year! How the heck did this happen? I feel like I aged about a decade. I did accomplish the great feat of finally putting up my first art exhibition -the highlight of perhaps my entire year. And of course Christmas with both sides of my family reminds me how many blessings I have in my life.

So all in all, a pretty OK year. Some pretty high highs, and some pretty low lows, but I've decided to chalk them all up to "life experience." I guess the moral of the story is that I'm ready to tie up 2010 in a sparkly little bow and move on to whatever 2011 has to offer me!

Happy New Year, all. Cheers to you and yours.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Best Way to Spread Christmas Cheer is Singing Loud for All to Hear

And if you can't hear me singing from your respective states that are not Nebraska, you can YouTube search some old Chorale videos and I'm sure you'll get the picture.

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

Remember Me?

Hello Bloggy-Type People!


Official Bloggy Photo of Just My Head  

Remember me?  


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

Printmaking, or, What I've Been Doing with my Spare Time for the Past Fifteen Weekends

I've surpassed the 6 month mark in Seward, ladies and gentlemen. Somedays I'm amazed I've made it this far. Especially with the lack of social life. (aka, I have few friends. Come visit!) But, it hasn't ALL been one self-thrown pity party. No, I've been productive. Not only do I have a full-time job, I thought it would be fun to take a class too. And I have to say, it was fun. Rarely will you hear me say this, but I'm not being sarcastic. It was one of the best classes I've ever taken! My teacher was a baller, I got to play with art supplies AND I have these fun creations to show off. Granted, none of them will be going in MoMA anytime soon, but I'm still proud in a "Look Mom! Put this on the refrigerator" sort of way. Check 'em out! Hope you enjoy my brainchildren.

Yes, this is the infamous lobster I've talked to many of you about. I call it... "Lobster."

Here is a 6-color screenprint. Probably one of my favorite techniques, because you get to use lots of color and a squeegee.

The very first print I ever attempted. After several hours and many gouges in my fingers from the carving tool, the response I got from my teacher was, "I feel like I'm spying on this chicken with nightvision goggles."

An etching of the wood grain in my dresser drawer. Sorta kinda successful.

Probably one of my favorites, although I think the top part is better than the bottom. Etched that baby into a copper plate, boo-yah!

Photo lithography was not my friend. Womp.

Three-color screenprint. I feel as though this is not particularly inspiring, but still rather pretty.

This wasn't an assignment, just me playing around with the old type stamps at my teacher's house when we went there to use a special press.

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

Christmastime is Here!

So I know you all have been waiting for this moment to come, but here's a little taste of Christmas at the Sloup household. The tree has been trimmed, the other 9 trees have been trimmed, every flat surface in the house has been covered by garland, fake snow or figurines, and the living room glows from the beam of a thousand+ Christmas lights. 'Tis the season to decorate beyond reason, no? The glorious tree! See how many Christmas balls? My grandma decorated ALL of them.
"Artistic" shot from below.

I am oh-so-excited to bust out my 87th box of Christmas balls for the tree!

As I'm pondering the Christmas season, I can't even count all of the things I look forward to every year. Here's a few of the highlights...

1. For the past few years now, my dad (who Deva and I fondly refer to as "Papa Lange") has tried to convince my family that it would be great for us to put on a Christmas performance, singing in 5-part harmony. Much like the VonTrapp family singers, except with fewer Nazis and more sarcasm. Last year, he even went so far as to print off some sheet music. However, the protests from my brothers were enough to stop his attempts to make us the hit of the holidays...last year. Who knows what tactics he'll try for 2010.

2. I know everyone says their grandma makes the best cake/pie/kolatches/what-have-you. But my grandma seriously makes the best Christmas sugar cookies. Seriously. And if you don't agree, that's fine. More cookies for me. But really, everyone in our family loves them. The cookies are kept in a cardboard box wrapped in wrapping paper in the toy room. The only reason to go in the toy room in the winter is to get cookies, because otherwise it's freezing in there. Needless to say, I make many sprints into the toy room. Recently, my grandma has given us each a limit of 17 cookies, but no one trusts each other to stick to the limit, so you gotta get in there fast. (17 is not very many. They're small.) Generally, I eat my mom's too. Whatev. So. Excited.

3. As soon as my brother Jordan arrives, there's the annual hunt for the Christmas gorilla. "What's the Christmas gorilla?" you might be thinking. Well, it is what it is. It's a stuffed animal gorilla. Actually, the gorilla has no intrinsic Christmasy qualities. He's just holding a banana. However, somewhere along the line, Jordan started placing the Christmas gorilla in a prominent location of the house. Not to have her Christmas-only themed decorations tainted by this silly ape, my grandma took to hiding the gorilla each year. Well, she hasn't stumped Jordan yet, and the Christmas gorilla continues to make its yearly appearance much to grandma's chagrin.

The great thing about traditions like these is that no one really knows where they started (except for the cookies. Those have been around since the dawn of time.) And yet, as ridiculous as they might seem to the outsider (you), I cherish these little quirks. Frankly, I can't wait to see where the Christmas gorilla pops up this year, or what songs my dad will have picked out for the family choir. I know the greater traditions of Christmas like being with family, exchanging gifts and celebrating the birth of Christ are all important and wonderful. I just want to let these unusual customs have their moment in the limelight too.

So enjoy your Christmas traditions, whether they're funny or serious, traditional or original. Or make up a brand new one starting this year! Whatever it is, it's sure to make your holiday season more memorable. As long as the memories don't involve you stealing my share of the sugar cookies, we're good to go. :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happiness hit her like a train a track...


Ok, did you watch this?? It's been playing through my mind for the last week ever since Glee remade it for the most recent episode. Personally, I like the original version better. Never mind the kind of trippy artistic direction going on in the music video, close your eyes if you must. Doesn't this song make you want to get up and dance?

Although the beat is addicting and the melody is oh-so-singable, the words to this gem are what really fascinate me. Disclaimer: she's singing about the "Dog Days," not the "Dark Days." I know, I was confused too. Anyhow. According to the always reliable source Wikipedia, "Dog Days" are the hottest, most sultry days of the summer. They can also be a period of time that is "stagnant, or marked by a lack of progress." You might be asking yourself as you nod off, "Self, why is Abby giving me a boring history lesson?" Well, wake up! Because the dog days are OVER! It's a good thing, people.

We all have dog days. Frankly, it's much easier to have them than to not have them. You let yourself get swamped down with the tiring details of life and you can't step forward in any direction. I know this because I do it all the time. I'm much too prone to getting overwhelmed and letting it blind my big-picture vision. However, my friend Florence makes a great point when she says, "Leave all your love and your lovin' behind, you can't carry it with you if you want to survive." I suppose you could look at that in a sort of lonely way, but as this is my post, I reserve the right to promote my own lyrical interpretations, so there.

We all have dog days, and many a time it's because we're holding on to something from the past. Our failures and rejections morph from something that used to be an event that simply happened into a being that smothers us. Why? Because we used to love those things. A school we didn't get into, an estranged relationship, a job we missed out on, a loss we didn't expect. And you really can't carry those with you if you want to survive. Keeping your head above water is hard enough, and harder still if you have rocks tied to your feet.

Anyhow, I really just love this song. Because it's one of those that gets me singing when I'm tired and because I want to be able to say these words and really mean them. Just please don't smack me if I'm still humming it the next time I see you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Well, folks. It's finally happening.

I'm mentally nesting. That's right, you heard me correctly. No, no. I'm not pregnant. Definitely not. I am however, going through a phase where the average home appliance makes me giddy with excitement. Blenders, silverware, rugs, you name it. I'm dying for a home.



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

'Tis the Season to be Crazy

So Thanksgiving has come and gone. That little holiday that doesn't give us much time off from work but does give us that blessed excuse to eat like our life depended on it. The turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, the COOL WHIP! Yes, cool whip might in fact be my favorite part of Thanksgiving (or any major holiday involving pie.) As my grandma told my aunt who brought dessert, "Make sure you bring one container for Abby and one for the rest of us." So what if I eat it like candy? I don't even care if you're judging me right now.

My friend Courtney re-posted her blog about Thanksgiving traditions (read here! http://courtneyheitkamp.blogspot.com/2008/11/tradition-tradition.html) and it made me think about what I enjoyed most about this Thanksgiving. I have to say, Thanksgiving dinner conversation is probably my favorite. For example, the board game Candyland was featured at this year's dinner talk. My cousins and I had played it the night before (at my request) and somehow it got mentioned at dinner. As my uncle said, "There's nothing like getting sent back to Plumpy and still making a big finish to win." A word from the wise.

The day following Thanksgiving involved some low-key Black Friday shopping, if that's possible. After contemplating for 45 minutes or so whether I wanted to go super early and shop like the pros, I decided, "No. I like sleep." So I went out with my aunt and cousins around 9 and we still found some good deals. Although around 11:30, I started getting that feeling like the walls were closing in on me and the need for my personal bubble, which had long since been bursted, came back full force. Let's just say I prefer shopping when I don't fear stampeding at any moment.

Saturday was Christmas Decorating Day! Or should I say, Christmas Decorating Day, Part 1 of 17. Because that's probably how many days it will take to finish. My grandma has over 65 boxes of Christmas decorations, so you can see how it takes some time. Don't worry. She also has a organizational notebook so we know what decorations are in which boxes and what boxes are in which closets. Things got a little frantic when she thought she lost the notebook this summer, but thank heavens we found it. So as the Christmas tree went up, my cousins and I were assigned the joyous task of decorating it with approximately 35,000 Christmas balls. About halfway through this task, disaster struck. The dozen strands of Christmas lights on the tree inexplicably went out. Cue moment of panic. Immediately, thoughts of "Good lord, do we have to take this all apart??" went through my brain. I stepped away from the tree, hoping my brain would not explode. I took a break in the kitchen and by the time I got back, voila! Lights back on. Christmas magic! Anyhow, we finally finished and the tree looks overstuffed, but still quite lovely.
(Not our tree. But you get the picture.)

And now, as we're all coming off our Thanksgiving buzz, I'm back at work. On a Sunday night. For the class that I'm auditing. I'm looking at about 4 hours + in the printmaking studio tonight. Hopefully the result will be cheap Christmas presents for everyone I know!

I hope all of you had a marvelous holiday, and that you got to enjoy your own Thanksgiving traditions. I'm sure the upcoming season of crazy holiday preparations will provide much material for entertaining blog posts. At least you'd better hope so, for your own sakes.

Cheers!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blog World, Dave. Dave, Blog World.

This is my friend Dave. You might ask, "Abby, does Dave meet qualifications to be institutionalized?" I would reply, "You might think so, but it's really just the photo."
Here is Dave as a baby, sans beard. Look at him play that bass! He's very talented.
Dave is also Devin's friend. They're my "D" friends - Dev 'n Dave.
The three of us hang out sometimes. Here we are, creating an artistic tableau.
Dave has a mini-guitar. I try to get a picture of myself and the uke during every visit.
How does this relate to Sparkle, Sparkle's overall theme of life, love and Devin/Abby? It doesn't. Except that Dave has been whining consistently for the past month for his own personal blog entry. So here you go, Davo. Enjoy your custom-made shout out.

But seriously, everyone should know that Dave is one of my dear, dear friends. He keeps me entertained via gchat, often making me laugh out loud during work. AND HE CAME TO VISIT ME IN NEBRASKA! (Granted, he was primarily visiting family, but that's not the point.) So yes. This is Dave. Get to know him if you have the chance.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

7 Things That Would Make This World A Better Place

I've been a little serious on the blog lately, so I'm bringing back the Sparkle, Sparkle with some ideas for improving life on earth.

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

Closure. Overrated or not? Cast your vote...

Closure. It's a word most often used to define that "moment" when you're finally OK with a situation gone awry. Break-ups, moving, graduation... oh HEY! Those sound familiar! But don't worry, I'm not going to whine (you're welcome.)

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

Not to be a copycat...

...But I too will be using J-May lyrics to preface this blog post.

I am in repair.

I'm not sure how I feel about people pouring out the deepest and most secretive details of their personal lives, but I'd like to touch on something slightly closer to home. As many of you might already know, I had a rough summer due to a relationship that came to a close. The exact details aren't important, but it left me feeling like someone had pushed me off a cliff by surprise.

So as I fell I spent a lot of time feeling bad about/for myself. I'm not really proud of this part - I'd like to say I was one of those girls who got up, brushed herself off and moved on - but that was not the case. I felt broken and confused, and I thought there was "so much to do to set my heart right" (as good ol' John says). I had a lot of time to myself this summer. So I read. And prayed. And cried. And slept. And that about summed up my free time.

BUT! This is not a story to get sympathy, I promise. It's actually a precursor to an exclamation of great thanks. I just spent a weekend with some of the best people I know in the world. The time I spent with them was not only fun and hilarious, it was the best step forward I've taken in 5 months. Every single minute, I was surrounded by friends who have become my family. They inspire me, they make me die laughing, they defend me, they console me. They make me happy. Chances are, if I saw you this weekend, you're one of those people. So thank you. Thank you, thank you! You probably didn't know, but you're what keeps me going.

And then there's those friends that I unfortunately didn't see this weekend, but who are nonetheless vital to my existence. When I get to work this morning, expecting a normal Monday, I see that Deva has posted on the blog! A joyous surprise! And not only that, but she points out the very thing I am thankful for: that some things never change, like our friendship. Sure it has evolved over the years, but deep down, we are still those girls that want so badly for each others' lives to succeed that we're even willing to ignore Spanish class to describe our house layouts to each other (a tough sacrifice). She has been walking along with me this entire journey and without her, I would simply be lost.

Basically what I'm saying is this: It's surely good for me to find my own way in the world, and I am definitely working on that. But it is also surely good to have reunions and reminders too. I am certainly so thankful for these moments.

I'm in repair, I'm not together but I'm getting there.

Thanks for helping me get there.


Monday, November 8, 2010

stop this train

So here's something.

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.

Some things never change, though.

And it's nice to know some of the people you loved when you were 16, you still love today and always.
<3
D

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tap Your Heels Together and Head... Where?

Something very odd happened to me the other day. My boss was telling me about how an education professor said something to the extent of "Why would you ever get an art major? What would you do with that?" in a meeting. (No, this post is not about the merits of art. Maybe another day.) My boss was kind of upset that this education professor was not supporting the other departments and in response, I said, "That's really weird, I mean, we're well-known for our art department!"

Pause. Immediately realize what I've said. Re-think. "We're known for our art department."

In one short sentence, I subconsciously became a part of Concordia University as I never had before. It's only been 112 days since I started my job here in Seward, and I've already placed myself into the "we" context.

When I went to Denmark in 7th grade for 6 months, I was very conscious of not saying anything that made me a permanent part of the people and places. Mostly because I was a spiteful teenager and I resented being away from my friends for half of a year. But I was also terrified that I might become attached to something there, so I never called it "home." It was always "I'm going back to the apartment." If I ever slipped up, I corrected myself to make the point. And up until now, I think I've been doing the same thing here.

I won't lie to you, faithful readers, I was not so much a happy camper this summer. Life had thrown a hundred major changes at me, and I didn't want to accept that things were changing. I didn't want to become part of a "we" in Seward. This town was merely a placeholder while I figured out the next step of my journey. And yet, now I'm saying "we" and not even realizing it. Can a place become our home without our noticing? When we try to fight it?

As a post-grad, home is a strange concept to grapple with anyways. Sure, I say I'm from Champaign, but I haven't lived there for any more than a few months in 4 years. That's basically 20% of my life. Which is kind of significant. So is that still my home? My house is there. My parent's house is there, actually. Where is my home?

Maybe home is where we find ourselves saying "we" and not realizing it. The "we" sneaks up on us and makes a cozy nest in our chests. And before we know it, "we" have found a place to be, and a place to belong, and a place to call home, even if only for a while.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

He's Just Not That Into You And Other Life Truths I Learned From Hollywood

Today I watched He's Just Not That Into You for the 3rd or 4th time. Ladies, if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Guys, you probably won't like it, so I wouldn't bother. Yes, it's a cheesy romantic comedy, but I still think it's cute, and there are actually some very good points in there. And this isn't the only movie that has made me think, "Wow. That's SO true." Ohhhh no, my friends. The cinema is a powerful educational tool. For instance...

He's Just Not That Into You. There's a reason the original book is so popular. Because it basically READ'S MEN'S MINDS. Well, not quite, but it still points out the obvious "warning signs" that girls tend to ignore when they like a guy who doesn't like them back. Like if he doesn't call you... he probably is Just Not That Into You. (I know, the title kinda gives it all away up front.) After watching this movie, I refuse to believe that there are guys that are so shy that they can't get up the courage to ask a girl out. If they really liked her, they'd get their act together, right? RIGHT!

Pride and Prejudice. This movie proves that romance doesn't have to be over-the-top, corny or super sexy. In fact, I would put Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy at the top of my all-time favorite fictional couples list. They don't even kiss until the last scene!! And yet it's so incredibly wonderful all the way through. I suppose this movie is also proof that I'm not a complete cynic. I still cry when Mr. Darcy comes walking across the moors to proclaim his love. Why does nothing like this happen to me in real life? Here's why. It's not 1784 anymore and I don't live in an English manor. Shoot.

Little Miss Sunshine. There's just something touching about the ending of this movie. (Spoiler alert!) You know, when Olive gets up on the beauty pageant stage and starts dancing inappropriately. It's not the awkward dancing that gets to me, it's the fact that this little girl has no inhibitions, that she's doing what she loves, and that she wants to share it with the world. Then her family joins her (to save her from being booed offstage) and it's just all the more emotional. I'm glad to say I've got friends and family who will join in with me when I make myself look ridiculous (on those rare, rare occasions where I do not come off as totally smooth...) What more could I ask for in life? Maybe a million dollars and a baby penguin, but I'll settle for the reliable support system.

James Bond. This is mostly just to prove that I don't only watch girl movies. Also, the lesson I learned from the many 007 flicks I have seen is this: James Bond only likes hot women, and can't stay in a committed relationship. Ohhh, how many times I have seen this manifest itself in reality...
In conclusion. I will continue to watch movies. I will continue to make vast generalizations about how these movies always relate to real life. I will continue to be disappointed when I wake up at sunrise for my morning outdoor contemplation and do not find a 18th century gent striding toward me in the mist. And I will continue to write blog entries about things that probably no one finds amusing except myself and a select few people who tolerate my crazy. (please reference Little Miss Sunshine lesson)



Friday, October 29, 2010

TGIF

Remember when TGIF was not only a saying, but a full prime time TV schedule? Boy Meets World...Sabrina the Teenage Witch...life was good.

And speaking of great TV shows, can I just take a quick break here and mention a few other jewels from our youth? Legends of the Hidden Temple (terrifying when they went through that obstacle course at the end.) Clarissa Explains It All! What girl wouldn't want a cute neighbor boy climbing through her window any time of day? Actually, kind of creepy. Global Guts?? All That??? Ok, I'm getting carried away. But Spongebob has nothing on true entertainment.

Aaaanyhow. My point was not to reminisce about 90s television. Instead, I wanted to list off a few reasons why I am excited for this weekend DESPITE having no actual plans.

1. It's the weekend, duh.

2. I do not have to dress up in any kind of costume for Halloween, merely pass out the candy to the cute youngsters that come trick-or-treating. (Although I will be fondly remembering last year's Halloween-o-rama with joy in my heart.)

3. Tomorrow marks the first day I will be able to sleep in after about a month of volleyball tournaments and other Saturday morning activities. Bliss!

4. I will be screenprinting my little heart out, but that's OK. It's pretty therapeutic.

5. College football features Nebraska vs. Mizzou tomorrow afternoon. Go Big Red! Need I say more?

So while you're all off partying it up and being your wild child selves, I'll be at home in comfy clothes eating massive amounts of leftover candy. Woo hoo!

Happy Halloween! :)


Thursday, October 28, 2010

uhh...

I feel like this is mostly Abby's blog, but I just wanted to say that had I more interesting things to say, or things that could be said in family friendly language.... I'd be a really good blogger.

Perhaps my time is coming.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Talkin' Bout my Geeeeneration!

Today was the first day that my fingers turned blue. Well, I assume they turned blue. My nails are painted right now so I couldn't tell for sure, but they definitely felt pretty cold. This is how I know that winter is almost uponst us. One day it was fall, a pleasant 70 degrees, and now we're going into that season that I like to call "one of the worst results of sin." Seriously though, I'm almost positive the Garden of Eden was sunny with an 80 degree dry heat.

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

Things I'm Putting on my Shopping List

Today is Sunday, also known as the day of rest. So you won't hear/read any chatter about such heavy topics as life and love and feminism. Let's do something more fun, shall we? I like to call it "Fashion" or "Why Women Are Judged When They Buy Their Clothes At Target." Don't get me wrong, I love Target. But Michael Kors always uses Target as an insult on Project Runway, as in "That dress looks like it came off the clearance rack at Target." (said in a disgusted, high voice that one might use to remark upon a spider crawling out of the bathroom drain.) I happen to buy a lot of my clothes at Target, so I suppose this means I am only mildly fashionable. But whatever! Until I make millions, I'll refrain from buying these ensembles that are so IN right now...

I didn't need Elle magazine to tell me that animal prints are going to be all the rage in Spring 2011. In fact, I think they're a little behind the times. All the most popular junior high girls wear zebra and leopard print ribbons in their hair, duuuhhhh.
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.
This is a look I was not aware was going to be coming into style anytime soon, but I am indeed convinced that after my next shopping trip I will return home with several pairs of see-through pants. WITH matching underwear, of course. Also, some flowy pieces of chiffon to stick in the back so I look super aerodynamic when I walk.
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

Feminism, or Why Can't I Just Do What I Want?

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

Kids these days...

So this fall I've been helping coach a junior high volleyball team. The team is comprised of 17 6th-8th grade girls of varying athletic skills. We practice every weekday (is this a lot for 12 year olds or am I crazy??) and they've made a lot of improvement. I'm so proud of the little sweethearts.

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

Let's not be so hard on ourselves.

Today is feel-good Friday, so I'm going to spice things up by saying something that most people our age don't want to admit.

We're awesome for graduating from college.

I know that getting a BA is now basically the equivalent of what graduating from high school used to be. I know that you almost have to get an MA or even a PhD to have a "real" job in most fields. I know that a lot of times we look back at college and say, "So many classes were just blow-off classes." I know CC-ers are aware that we spent more time wondering if we were ever going to make conclusions than actually making conclusions. I know that we usually spent more time procrastinating and hanging out with friends than studying, and I know that most of our papers were written the night before (or the day) they were due.

I know all these things, and now that it's over I can easily say, "See? That wasn't so hard." I think that this is a scary mindset though. If college wasn't so hard, will we eventually think getting our Masters wasn't so hard? Writing a 200 page thesis wasn't so hard? Not to mention all of the life experiences... making a relationship work, finding a job, living on our own for the first time. When it's all said and done, will we just say that life wasn't so hard?

I always laugh when I read my old journals from high school and junior high because I wrote about all of my tormented loves and dramatic events that were happening. Why was it the worst thing in the world when I didn't have a boyfriend in high school? Why were little fights between my friends worthy of pages of distressed writing? It seems a little ridiculous now. And I can already feel myself starting to look at college this way - not giving myself any credit for what I felt and did in those four years, because hey, it really wasn't a big deal when it comes down to it.

Perhaps the hardest thing to remember when you're looking back in time is how you actually felt. I look back at the end of relationships (for example) and for a moment I'm tempted to say, "Yeah, I was pretty sad." But at the time, it really did feel like the end of the world. It really did cause genuine pain. I don't want to forget how I felt in college. Sometimes things were hard. I didn't always understand what my professors were saying, and I didn't get an A on every assignment.

I guess what I'm saying is this: don't cop out on your old self. You (probably) weren't just being silly when you felt stressed, frustrated, tired or dismayed. Life is hard, and it takes work. We didn't just graduate by sitting around all day. Give yourself a little credit when you feel like scoffing off your accomplishments. And if college really, truly was a 100% breeze for you, then you're much more of a genius than I am.

For the rest of us though... we're awesome. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

love like in the movies

...and they lived happily ever after...

*cut to THE END, roll credits, cue the gaggy credits song*

But ladies and gentleman, we all know that sometimes, just sometimes, the final scene of a movie can be rather... how can I put this... stupid.  Stupid because the second we waltz out of that theater we go back to reality where there are conflicts. so overwhelming that we live happily...for awhile until we are so overwhelmed that divorce is the healthiest option. 

Still, we all find ourselves waiting for our movie perfect romance. 

Have you ever heard "Spiralling" by Keane?  Well you should...  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHjnUAHekyg)

I'm waiting for my moment to come
I'm waiting for the movie to begin
I'm waiting for a revelation
I'm waiting for someone to count me in


Doesn't that just say it all? But here's the thing... why wait? I tend to be a Love Actually kind of girl. See, I believe that love really is all around, and God help me, I love Hugh Grant. But that's not the point. The point is, true love is not a hit-you-over-the-head sort of thing. No, in fact true love is a very allusive mistress, and she often disguises herself in the so well that she gets away before you even realize she was ever there. If you wait for a true love, you could miss out on so many wonderful, thrilling, funny, heartwarming, idiotic, amazing things. 

Now, let's clear something up. I'm not broken hearted, at least right now, and I am not suggesting that you run out and become single. No no no. Don't do that. ( (PLEASE.) Love isn't easy. But listen. Friends, today I write you not to remind you to be in love, but rather, to remind you that love comes in all forms.  Do not discount the love that is given to you by your family, your best friends, your pets, your children, your co-workers, your neighbors, the stranger who let you turn left onto a busy street.  That, my fellow hopeless romantics, is true love.  The love we show to eachother everyday is truly what makes the world go 'round.

Love eachother. 

I know, I know.  I'm getting a little touchy-feely hippie girl on you, but my parents were children of the 60s and 70s so I feel it was always inevitable. But really, appreciate what you have. It's a lot, even if it's not your ideal perfectly scripted love story, the point is, you are loved.

That being said, I wish you all your own happily ever afters.  Gaggy credit song and all. 


<3 D

Smiling's my favorite.

I'm about to get super cliche. If you're not up for it, I suggest you stop reading right here.

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

A Story of Our Youth. Chapter 9.

Since this IS a blog about the friendship that is mine and Devin's, I think I'll share one of our many adventures, or in this case, not-so-adventures. It's called....

Mexico: The Excursion That Never Was.

It all started with a couch. A lovely, creamy white leather couch. This couch currently resides in my living room at home, but at one point it was housed in a furniture store. Until my parents spotted it and knew it was love. (Or at least like enough to buy.) And then came the greatest part of said furniture purchase - a free trip to MEXICO!!!

As I was along with my parents at this time, I said, "Oh man! Dad! Forget the $1000 instant rebate and get the trip! Devin and I could go!" To which he responded, "OK." In so many words.

Devin and I were ecstatic. Just think! It was the beginning of our junior year at college and we were thinking about how nice it would be to escape from the winter cold and sit poolside at a beautiful resort in sunny Mexico. Bliss. Or so we thought...

The vacation company had an awful lot of hoops to jump through. But we obliged them, knowing our reward would be awesome. First we had to choose three different locations. Then we had to choose three different resorts. Then we had to choose three different dates. Three different airports to fly out of. Three different yadda yadda yadda, you get the picture. Then some magic computer would jumble all of our choices together into our dream vacation. It was only a matter of time until we found out where we would be destined to go.

In the meantime, we got our affairs in order. Devin got herself a passport, I checked to make sure that mine had not disappeared, and we constantly talked about how fantastic our lives were now that we had a beachy trip in our futures.

And then, one fateful day, we heard the news. My dad informed us that some fine print of the vacation deal required that we be at least 23 years of age to go. Neither Devin and I were (or even are now) 23. Disaster! Cue us screaming, "NOOOOOOoooooo!!!"

So as quickly as it came, our dream vacation was out the window. Later, we decided that it was probably all for the best, considering the massive amounts of crime and people being shot at resorts and such. The moral of the story is this, ladies and gents: If you should buy a couch and get a free trip to Mexico as an incentive to buy the couch, and you fill out all the appropriate forms, and choose your three destinations/airports/dates, and get your passport and EVERYTHING... be at least 23.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I love college.

*Insert funky hip-hop song from last summer here*

OK, I admit it. I miss college.

I miss going to bed at 1 am and not suffering for it too much the next day. I miss living with people my age. I miss having something... ANYTHING... to do on the weekends. I miss chapel at Valpo (it's just not as cool at Concordia). I miss passing professors on the sidewalk that I actually know. I miss complaining about the terrible weather. I miss always having people around I can talk to. I miss SigEp dance parties. I miss ridiculous CC classes where nothing gets accomplished. I miss tater tots at the Union. I miss Chorale and how much of my time it consumed. I miss Super Smash, asdfjkl;, and all of my other amazing intramural vball teams. I miss watching TV shows NOT by myself. I miss going to SALT on Tuesday night with people who are passionate about the world. I miss the crazy hi-jinks of Dean Piehl and the miraculous wonders of Dean Franson. I miss having conversations where I don't have to explain why I'm in Seward or where I came from. I miss Passtimes, Duffy's and Northsides. I miss having a Target. I miss my Valpo people.

So yeah, I miss college. Being an adult is so overrated.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Philosophy v. Sarcasm: The Ultimate Smack-Down!

Recently, one of my friends from college started a blog and his first entry was quite lengthy and extraordinarily intellectual. Which is great, because that's his personality. He's smart and loves to talk, so it works. However, I'm thinking to myself, "Self, I'm smart. I love to talk. Why aren't my wall posts worthy of a PhD dissertation?"

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

some stuff lately

Lately, I am really having a hard time not geeking out. For example, I really don't operate well unless I watch at least one youtube dance video per day. I'll admit, I prefer some dance forms over other, but I will not subject you to my biases yet.  Let me just say, that you NEED to watch this because it will make you so happy and perhaps give you a great perspective on life. 


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

defeat.

Abby. You are so much better at blogging than I am.

This is so Wonderful.

I love, love, love this website. It always adds a little sparkle, sparkle to my day. There's really nothing better than interior decorating satire.

Please visit it. Now.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Random Thought for the Day

You can really only count on your family and your girlfriends in life. They will get you through any time - good or bad, happy or sad, clothed or unclad, content or just mad, uncool or so rad, lassie or lad (!?), having or had.

That's why we created this blog anyways, to celebrate the support system of friendship.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Something Pretty

"Here I am, where I've been. I've walked a hundred miles in tobacco skin, and my clothes are worn and gritty. And I know ugliness, now show me something pretty." - Patrick Park

I heard this song today and it made me think, "Huh. I would like to see something pretty right now!" So I started thinking of pretty things, and here's what I came up with.

#1 pretty thing: Seashells. Now, who doesn't love a good seashell? I myself think they are quite pretty, and it's not just because I'm obsessed with all things nautical right now. (I think it's just a phase.) Many seashells have PERFECT SPIRALS in their design, and that is frankly just amazing.

#2 pretty thing: Cupcakes. Don't pretend like you didn't know this one was coming. But look at it!!! It's so pretty!!! Not to mention delicious, I'm sure.

#3 pretty thing: Anthropologie necklaces. I actually think most things from Anthropologie are extremely pretty, but isn't this necklace just a summer-meadow-dream?

#4 pretty thing: Fall floral arrangements. It's starting to feel autumn-ish outside, and that has me in the mind of apple cider, pumpkins and anything flavored with nutmeg. But also, pretty, pretty flowers in orange, red, yellow and plum. Pretty.

#5 pretty thing: Art nouveau posters. I chose this one especially because it's advertising absinthe, which isn't necessarily pretty in my mind (although it is a nice green color.) But the poster is still so darn pretty! So many swirls and curly-Qs. Plus I adore that old-fashioned text.

So, now that I've typed the word "pretty" enough times that it's starting to look weird, I'll leave you to go and discover your own pretty things.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Destiny

Dear Friends,

Here's my thought of the day:

Destiny is just timing.  

(see the teeny tiny box on my facebook)


Love,
D

Sunday, September 5, 2010

for my friends

I am currently watching "Final Destination 3" I really can't say I'm enjoying myself... I find this movie pretty disturbing.


HOWEVER... Abby is home, I'm about to make Lauren and Colleen and she and myself a very yummy dinner so all's well.


<3

Friday, September 3, 2010

By the numbers...

Quick blog post to keep things alive and kickin'... I'm not much of a mathy person, but here's a little insight into the numerical side of my life.

0 - number of minutes until my lunch break.
10 - number of minutes it takes me to walk home.
4 - number of times I take this walk every day. Also the number of stoplights in Seward.
3 - number of times I gouged my fingers with my printmaking blade (also number of bandaids currently on my hand...ouch!)
97 - number of fundraising letters from which I hope to receive beautiful checks to fund the art exhibit I'm working on.
2 - number of letters that have already been "return to sender-ed" because of old addresses.
42 dillion - number of things on my To-Do list.
23 - number of HOURS until I see my other half, Dev!
1 - number of smiles on my face when I think about going home this weekend!!

Off to the homeland!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Is anybody out there?

Hello there. You. Yeah, you. In order to feel OK about this new endeavor, Devin and I would really like to think that maybe 3 or 700 people are actually reading this blog. So if you ARE one of those people, and you'd like to hear our endless ramblings about any topic of your choosing, please comment, and we'll try to oblige you. Seriously, though. If you were to comment, say, "I'd like to hear your thoughts on pineapples, please," we'll do it. On our honor as ex-girl scouts.



So yeah... feedback... give it to us. POR FAVOR! MERCI!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm Dreaming of a Black Chicken...

...just like the ones I used to know...

And when I say "used to know," I mean "envisioned in my head before I started this printmaking project." I'm taking a printmaking class at Concordia. Apparently, going from full-time school to absolutely no school is just too much for my little brain to handle. So I'm taking a class. For fun. Although since it's an art class, I think it actually will be fun. Or at least interesting. Perhaps devastating (DEVAstating?) if my prints turn out to be total garbage.

Our first assignment was to do an edition of 5 relief prints. That means they all have to look EXACTLY THE SAME. So I decided to do a chicken up against a picket fence. And mine do look exactly the same... if you're standing about 20 feet away. Up close, they actually look like different animals. Just kidding. It's not that bad. But it's not that good either.

At any rate, I feel good about the fact that I am, out of my own volition, learning for my own personal edification and not for 3 credits on my transcript. Hopefully I'll be able to use this experience to guilt my future children into doing the same for themselves. Except maybe they'll learn something useful, like carpentry or accounting.

So after almost 5 hours of trying to get those blasted chickens to look identical and rubbing the inked-up paper with a wooden spoon so hard I think my fingers might break, I'm done with the first assignment. Who said learning wasn't fun?