Level 5 Laser Lotus

A brief story about my relationship with sewing – I’ve been making clothes since I was a kid (starting with jumpers and pillows in elementary school) and even majored in apparel design for a year in college. Something that’s never changed about my relationship with sewing is my desire to cut corners. It’s not that I don’t want to make something good… I just like doing it my way. Which is much different to my approach compared to most things where I very much follow rules and recipes and harp on people about logic and such. So that makes sewing and making clothes my kind of free-for-all time. I use a pattern and read the instructions and then I just kind of see what happens. (One rule of thumb is never look at the inside of a garment I make because you’ll see all the sewing “guts.”) For instance, the bathrobe pattern I started making was missing some pieces, and I chose generally scrap type fabric to play around with. This has resulted in some random choices and a robe that looks a lot like it fits with the Reformed Neo-Buddhist cult Pierce belonged to on Community.

Community - Season 5That’s the basic reveal of the robe. I’m going to play around with it some more, and probably shorten it and maybe add some pockets as well as a tie. I laughed a lot when I realized how silly it turned out, but that was the point. I’m going to plan another outfit (maybe a dress… those are easy) and purchase some better fabric and give it a more serious attack. Except for the part where I broke a needle, this was a really fun first foray back into sewing. Huzzah!

Today's outfit post robe
Today’s outfit post robe

Also just because… my cat is adorable. (Sometimes.)

photo 1

So Many Layers

It’s been pretty much a roller coaster of madness since the long Labor Day Weekend, and I don’t have much to say about it. Pretty much all good, fun, or crazy things, but I’ll just let them ruminate in my head still. However, I just finished Season 2 of Breaking Bad. WHAT HAVE I BEEN MISSING?! Sadly since I never thought I’d get into it, I know some major spoilers about the future, but it’s more about the journey right?* But I feel like writing , so Fill In the Blank Friday it is.

*Lies like this also repeated to myself when I accidentally spoiled a death in The Wire for myself. ARGH.

1. My favorite grade in school was probably senior year of high school. I had solid friends and fun and it was full of slacking. Pretty good memories, and if there were bad times, clearly I’ve blocked that out.

2. My favorite teacher was Mr. Jagd, my high school English teacher because he introduced me to Harold and Maude (although it was less of a “movie you must know in college” than he let on) and deep analysis of books (Gatsby, Heart of Darkness) and poetry (Edna St. Vincent Millet) that I loved. I wish I still had the notebook where we had to free write random shit all the time.

3. The highest level of education I have completed is a BS in Merchandising Management. Which I have totally made use of in my career. Totally.

4. School lunches for me were usually made by my mom and yeah, I’m OK with that.

5. The amount of money you’d have to pay me to go back to high school would be oh god no. I didn’t even have a bad high school experience, and there are many great things I get nostalgic for in terms of resetting my life, but I would never want to go back.

6. A few things that will always remind me of going back to school are: new notebooks, ringing bells, sitting out in the amphitheater, cafeteria cookies that were always way better than the ones I made…

7. The first day of school was always something that caused me great anxiety about remembering everything I needed to know, like locker combos or classroom locations. I usually never slept much the night before.

Return of the Blanks

Bringing back some rambles courtesy of Fill in the Blank Friday.

1. My greatest strength is my loyalty and my ability to empathize, probably to a fault. Oh crap, I ruined it being a strength.

2. My greatest weakness is my inability to focus and my overly anxious nature, which makes it take longer than it should to get comfortable around people. I’m awkward.

3. People always compliment me on my smile and/or eyes. Although I oddly get complimented on my excessive cursing sometimes. It’s weird.

4. If you found me procrastinating you’d probably find me catching up on reading, books or blogs, journaling, or playing with the cat.

5. The most cozy place in all the world is the beach. Maybe not cozy like being bundled in blankets, but I think sitting in the ocean breeze and watching waves crash is the most cozy and comforting place to be.

6. Something new that I tried recently was uh, getting an iPhone? I never really realized what a laggard I can be… and of course, now I’m hooked.

7. This weekend I would like to hang out with Mary. Oh wait, that’s what I AM doing. WIN.

Blank Filling About Travel

Inspired by the actual shower curtain in Steph’s apartment.

My favorite place I’ve ever traveled to is maybe Alaska, or Telluride. Or Italy? I really want to travel more. Like, right now.

Greece is somewhere I’d love to go someday. (More affordable option: Chicago)

I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by reading and listening to my iPod. Or podcasts. Or, the inflight movie/TV shows depending on level of horrible-ness.

My three must-haves when I travel are iPod, books, and maps/itinerary.

My favorite travel companion is anyone who’s laid back and doesn’t freak out when getting lost.

The craziest thing that ever happened to me while traveling is  not that crazy. I’ve had a few of those ‘bolt for the connection’ moments. I’ve had so many random mishaps while traveling, but they’re never usually that fun to re-tell.

The most exotic food I’ve ever tried while traveling is    maybe snails in Paris or fried alligator in New Orleans…

Thank you, Steve

Very rarely, if ever, do I feel compelled to publicly mourn the death of a prominent person or celebrity. Somehow though, Steve Jobs’ death hits hard, and obviously, too soon. I remember resisting the idea of becoming a Mac person, of not wanting a new Apple computer my dad was so excitedly willing to give me as a freshman in college. Once I hopped on that train, however slowly (reluctantly switching from Walkman to iPod in 2006), I’ve been a committed Apple consumer ever since. Steve Jobs was a visionary who did so much in developing and reviving the Apple brand – creating products and convincing absurdly brand-loyal customers to stick with him through all these new innovations. I was proud to be one of the few raising my hand in a college class as an Apple devotee.

I’ve watched this commencement speech at Stanford University several times, and it always chokes me up. Even if I fall into ruts and find myself doubting what kind of future I’ll have, it’s so uplifting to hear his words.

This quote has always felt incredibly powerful to me:

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

(Source)

The Calm Before the Storm

It’s safe to say that April 30 – May 1 will be a frenzied flurry of Collin and I packing and moving at the last minute. I’m working through this Wednesday and then we’re off to LA on Thursday for a brief home visit, which I’m very excited about. One: I like seeing my family, and my mom’s hosting an early Easter gathering on Saturday in honor of our visit. So nice. Two: I like going to the beach. Three: We’re visiting my cousin in West Hollywood and I’ve never explored LA much ever (no, really) so that’s always an adventure.

It’ll be a great lead up to our speedy cross-country road trip. We have to get back to NYC by April 29 to coordinate packing and closing on the apartment. That means several 11-hour days of driving. Yikes! We’re prepared with an arsenal of audio books, lots of music and hopefully a plan to not kill each other due to boredom. Here’s a glimpse of our route:

Road trip madness!

The last week has been busy for both of us as we’re seeing friends and making plans to hang out one last time. Today was a great day-trip adventure with Collin’s cousin Laura. (Want a new TV show to watch? Check out Pioneer One. It’s awesome. Bonus: Laura’s in it!) We headed out in the morning for a short-ish drive up to Cold Spring. It’s a great area for short and long hikes, as well as a cute town with a great main strip of stores and restaurants that’s just so cute.

The greenery was slowly reemerging, but you can always count of the views to be amazing. However, it was rather windy at times.

We stopped for lunch and then heading back to NYC. Something about brief breaks from the city is so refreshing, even when it’s only for a day. Of course, we’ll get plenty of that once we’re in Albany… but that’s beside the point.

Big News Announcement Time


The next few weeks will be busy and overwhelming, plain and simple.

Here are the facts:

Collin got a great paid internship in Albany and was accepted to SUNY Albany’s grad program. Yay! He’s a smarty pants.

We’re moving to Albany the first week in May. Specifically, we’re moving into an apartment in Troy. A 4-bedroom apartment. A floor-through apartment on the top floor of a row house. For less than $900/month TOTAL.

It’ll be an adjustment to be in a new area, but we’ve both been to the area a few times and I like the feel of the town. I know people have and will act surprised, but let’s all remember I spent four awesome years of my life in a small Oregon town and grew up in a beach town in California. It’s nothing new to me. Plus, I’m good with change, clearly. Really, I’m only worried about making new friends. Friendship has always been hard for me.

I just gave notice with my job tonight. It feels sad to leave something after spending so little time there, but it’s definitely the right decision. And no, I don’t know what I’ll be doing upstate. But there are plenty of opportunities, and I’d almost prefer a part-time service job just to be in the community and meet people.

The apartment is in the process of being sold and barring any freak occurrences, everything should be taken care of by the time we plan to move.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this we’ll be flying out the California. My mom doesn’t drive much anymore and offered me her Corolla I used all through high school and visits home. That means we’ll be driving back to NY. Awesome road trip!

There are a lot of loose ends to tackle, around packing, moving out, moving in, cat handling, transferring registration of my mom’s car, getting car insurance again, etc. etc. etc. It’s a busy time.

Even though all of this has been in the works for a while, it feels sort of overwhelming that we’ll be moving for real in a few weeks.

I’ll miss NYC a lot. But the way things have gone over the past three years, I don’t feel compelled as much to stay. On the bright side, I’ll only be about a three-hour drive away and have a car to come back and visit.

Analyze This

The last few weeks have been very interesting. And the next few weeks will be even more interesting. Decisions to make, anxiety attacks, big life changes, etc. But in continuing my avoidant behavior, I’m going to do another meme! This time, my friend Sara has tagged me!

Here’s a look into my handwriting: I tried hard to present my best handwriting, and this is what happens. That should tell you a lot about why my handwriting looks like when I don’t attempt clarity. I just took a picture of what I wrote in my awesome hipster notebook.

I answered these questions:

1. What’s your name / blogger name?
2. What’s your blog’s URL?
3. Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”
4. Favorite quote?
5. Your favorite song?
6. Your favorite band / singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?
8. Tag 3 bloggers to participate. (I tagged 5!)

Thoughts

I am tired. In a good way.

Even though I spent plenty of time in my apartment on the computer during unemployment, sitting at a computer in an office for 9 hours a day is much different.

I love that I keep finding coworkers who are also cool people.

I’m an assistant. At a retail consultancy. You can try to figure it out – I’m still working on it.

I’m temporary. Obviously it’ll take time before either side decides if we want me to be permanent.

I’m adding to my resume. I’m learning new skills in a new industry and I’m so excited about that.

I need to relearn  how to pack a lunch and snacks.

I like that my cat tolerates my singing and performing for her while I cook.

It’s much better the cat witnesses my belting of the Dr. Horrible soundtrack instead of Collin.

I’m no longer required to follow the news and read blogs all day for a job. It’s kind of weird.

I get to walk to work because my office is in Brooklyn, a mere 1.3 miles away from home.

I’m just coming up with reasons to ramble now.

I like margaritas.

Time to watch streaming TV with the boy, relax and continue to roll with whatever comes next.