Thursday, July 14, 2011

until the very end.

Today, with both the last of the Harry Potter films being released at midnight and my pending flight home, I find my childhood quickly coming to an end. As I sit at the airport re-reading quotes from my favorite childhood novels and trying not to cry, I'm reminded of what an incredible journey the past couple of years have been.

I have much more to say, but my flight is here and it's time to board. Here's to the next great adventure of my life--cheers!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

this time tomorrow.

Summer has been a flurry of hellos and goodbyes, new recipes and old movies, aches and pains, solitude and growth.

Positive things: This past week, I got to see a lot of friends, and it was nice to be around so many wonderful people. I've been cooking a lot more (and documenting it!), trying new recipes and cooking with friends. It's been great! My friend Sierra and I made a list of a variety of different recipes we'd like to try and I cannot wait to post them! I'm also excited that I get to see what is arguably my favorite movie (other than The Godfather) on the big screen this Thursday, which I'm not ashamed to say will probably be the highlight of my week.

Not so good things: I've had to deal with my share of injuries and illnesses; between a slight summer cold, random tendonitis flair-ups and a mysterious back pain that landed me with pain killers and an appointment in physical therapy, it's been kind of ridiculous. At least it gave me an excuse to avoid my laundry and stay in bed watching tv? Trying to be's been a bummer being on bedrest for a week.

I'm moving back to Los Angeles on the 14th, and I doubt I could feel anymore conflicted about it than I currently do. Part of me dislikes the fact that I don't have a set plan after college, that I'm wandering aimlessly about until I find my place. I can't decide if I want to pursue graduate school in the study of film and screenwriting, or if I should go straight to work. It's hard not to get a little cynical when all the odds are against me, but at the same time, I have to keep reminding myself that the odds have never stopped me before. All the odds were against me going to Cal and I beat them, and the odds were against me graduating with honors and I did that too. I've never let myself be intimidated by a challenging situation, and I just have to keep reminding myself that I've yet to fail a goal I've set for myself so I have no reason to be worried. It's just hard to not worry while I'm unemployed and confused.

On the bright side, I love Los Angeles and I cannot wait to be back. I'm excited to see my family and my LA friends, read by the pool, hike Runyon Canyon and Griffith Park, (finally) go for drinks at the Alcove's Big Bar , go to Outdoor Cinema Food Fest, going to the Griffith Observatory, check out the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA (even though I saw it in New York!), continuing to work on creating a writing portfolio, cooking in a fully stocked kitchen with all the gadgets you can imagine, and more. It'll be good, even though the change is a bit daunting. I'll be okay, though--I always am.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

the graduate


So, I'm officially done with college. That's a pretty important life milestone, right? Graduation was great, and I was stoked to have not fallen on my face in front of everyone--a legitimate concern when you're as clumsy as I am. It was also amazing having all of my family here to share such an important day with me, it definitely wouldn't have been as awesome without them all there. I also wouldn't have had the opportunity to eat at all of my favorite Berkeley restaurants in a three day period if they hadn't come up, so thanks!

Really though--I'm still in shock that I graduated from Berkeley. It was my dream school forever, and to have actually achieved something I worked really hard for is the most gratifying and incredible feeling in the world. The fact that I graduated with honors, well, that's just the icing on the cake. It's crazy to think that there were so many people who thought less of me for going to community college, and yet I've come out on top--not only having graduated (with honors! and with less debt!), but having become a better person and student because of my experiences. Nothing was ever handed to me, and having had to work and fight for everything has left a defining mark on my character and the way in which I approach the world. I am so proud of myself for setting such high goals and having not only met them, but surpassed them.

But now it's a week later, my family is back home, the champagne has worn off and reality is starting to sink in. I've got my rent paid and somewhat of a schedule through mid-July thanks to my RA job, but after that, I have no idea what I'll be doing with my life. That, my friends, is a terrifying thought. I'm applying to jobs both in the Bay Area and in Los Angeles, but I haven't sent that many applications out yet and I don't know where I'll be living. I also tend to be a bit of a perfectionist, and although I think I've got a decent cover letter, when I spend 3+ hours customizing it for particular jobs, it makes it hard to send out a lot of applications at once. I haven't freaked out about it this whole "funemployment" thing yet, but I am starting to get a bit nervous about the lack of a plan in my life post-July. Worst case scenario, I move back home--which, considering it's rent-free with a fully stocked kitchen, doesn't sound like the worst idea...but definitely not the best either, as I've grown to like living on my own. If I can't find a job, I'm looking at some Master's in Film programs, but as of right now I don't know if I want to go back to school again. I know what I want to do, or at least what I want to try to do--write. However, trying to figure out how to get a job that will pay the bills and allow me to do so is the tricky part. I'm confident that I'll do great wherever I end up getting a job, but for right now it's a matter of finding one!

In any case, alongside applying for jobs and marathoning the West Wing while writing cover letters, I am enjoying wandering around Berkeley in the summer, attempting to see all the wonderful people I've gotten the chance to know before they leave, cooking new recipes, sleeping, going to gym (regularly!), starting new blogging projects (although I admit that starting the last week that all my friends were in town was a bad call), and picking up side jobs to make a little summer money. I'm so lucky to have this time to decompress after an intense two years, and to do so in a beautiful city at that. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Berkeley, and I'm glad I have at least a couple months left here to appreciate it without essays and readings looming over my head.

Friday, May 20, 2011

pomp & circumstance


Officially an alumna of the University of California, Berkeley!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

mission accomplished!


I finished my thesis! I'm graduating from Berkeley with honors! Life is good!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

the head and the heart.

Photo on 2011-04-28 at 01.50 #3

Yesterday I went to go see the Head and the Heart! It was one of the most ridiculous nights in a long time...including the moment when I jumped onstage to get a copy of the set list :) Here are some pictures from last night! They were really hard to photograph because they dance so much, but I managed to get a few decent shots.


Driving to the city...I really love the Bay Area.


The show was at Bottom of the Hill. It was a small, intimate venue--the best kind.



The opening act was the Devil Whale. They were alright...not my favorite.


Half of Team Alice! We now have a Facebook fan's pretty great.


FINALLY, the Head and the Heart came on!











Such an amazing show--their album is good, but it isn't until you see them live that you understand how absolutely incredible they are. Afterwards, we go to our car to find that the battery had died. While waiting for roadside assistance, we went back in to the venue and ended up meeting half of the band! They were all super nice, and Tyler (the drummer for THATH) offered to jump start our car. Unfortunately it was a zipcar and we had to wait for special assistance, but it was really great (and let's face it, really fucking cool) of him to offer. Charity hung out with us for a bit and was the nicest person ever. I have a lot of respect for musicians who take the time to talk to fans, I'm sure it can get annoying but we really appreciate it! After about 45 minutes roadside assistance finally came!




Sierra was SO HAPPY to get into the car, haha.

Overall, it was a great evening with amazing people, and a much needed break from the stress of school.

Speaking of! I have my last day of class (ever!) today, my thesis is due a week from today, and then I have two finals. That's it! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I couldn't be happier.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

rivers and roads.

For the second year in a row, I've utilized to send myself a letter. It's a good way to look back at the past year and see how far (or not) I've come. It always seems to come at the right time and say just the right thing. Last night I couldn't sleep--I'm incredibly anxious about certain problems I can't seem to solve, so I was tossing and turning and waking up every couple of hours. I knew this letter was coming soon, but I had no idea what it would say. Waking up this morning to find it in my inbox was the perfect way to start today on a new page.


Dear Self,

It's April 23, 2010. It's been one month since I broke up with T, and one year since my life changed forever (re: Yesterday was one of the best days of my life; class, the CalTV waterfight, Cheeseboard and gelato with Johnny, "Trainspotting" with Katie. Today I spent the day in my apartment writing my paper on "Harold and Maude." I hope it turns out well! I majorly dislike [two of] my roommates but I've only got a month of the crazy left to endure. Good riddance. Never, EVER be like them...ugh. Bad people, most definitely.

Coming to Berkeley was the best choice I ever made, and although it wasn't the easiest decision, it was the best. I'm happy! I have some of the greatest friends in the world, both in Berkeley and in LA, and the best family in the world.

I don't know what'll be happening a year from now. Law school? Film school? Self, follow your's never led you astray. It's crazy to think that by the time you'll be reading this, you'll be about to graduate college. GRADUATE. COLLEGE. Holy shit, that is INSANE. Good luck! And don't freak out, okay? Because you know everything falls into place, and growing up, although scary, is also fun :)

You're 21 now! Happy fucking birthday, lovely! I hope you're not a crazy partier/alcoholic...but I also hope that you go out and enjoy college life at its peak! You'd better not be spending all of your Friday nights in studying.

I hope the AA job is going well, and that your roommates are awesome.

I love you, self. I've been thinking about this for awhile. This year, I lost x pounds, and gained hella confidence. You are pretty and kind, and you are worth the world. Don't you dare date someone who thinks otherwise! And put yourself before anyone else, always always always.

Take care of yourself. Don't drink so much Diet Coke. Call your parents and tell them you love them. Watch "Reality Bites" again. Enjoy Berkeley while you can, because who knows where life will take you next.



I guess this means it's been a year + a month since things ended with T; in all honesty, breaking up with him was one of my better ideas. A big part of last year was about learning how to fall out of love and moving on; it was difficult, but I'm so much better because of what I went through. Despite all the drama (which seemed to span the next six months), I managed to move past it all. The night I last spoke to him in November was my first night at trivia...when one door closes, a window opens? Or at least, there's a bar open where you'll meet your best friends and some of the coolest people in the world. Good enough for me.

I remember that day perfectly--it was one of the best I've ever had. I'm lucky enough to still have Katie and Johnny in my life--in fact, I hung out with both of them yesterday. They're two of the best people I've met in Berkeley and I love them both so much; I doubt I would have survived Berkeley without them. For the record, I haven't spoken to those awful roommates since moving out a year ago, other than the one who wasn't mean. Luckily, this year my roommates are a lot better :)

I still think that coming to Berkeley was the best decision I ever made. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. It's going to be hard to leave because Berkeley feels like home, one that I've built for myself by myself. I have my regular patterns, places, and people, and to leave that is going to be jarring like no other.

A year from that letter, what's happening? Definitely not law school...possibly film school for a master's, but I haven't decided if that's what I want yet. Right now I'm looking forward to taking a short break before entering the real world. It wasn't an easy decision but I trust myself that it's the right one. I don't just want to continue on in school because I'm scared of not knowing what I want to do, that's dumb-instead, I'm taking the time to truly figure out what I want to do in my life. I'm still in shock that I'm graduating in less than a month (and I'll be done with school a week before I get to walk on stage at the Greek)--I can't believe how quickly my time at Cal is coming to an end. I'm lucky in that I get to stay here until mid-July, but after that I'm fairly certain that I'll be moving back to Los Angeles. As excited as I am about that, I'm really going to miss the Bay Area and I'm really going to miss a lot of the people who will still be up here. Can't win 'em all, I suppose. In any case, I'm at peace with the way things are going.

You'd better not be spending all of your Friday nights in studying. Haha, I've got to say that I love how well I know myself. Yesterday I was telling a friend how I felt guilty for going out on a Friday, and he was like, "it's a Friday night! in college! if you're studying, you're doing something wrong." The last few weeks, I've definitely been making a point to go out because it is my last semester in college with my friends-why not?

" are worth the world. Don't you dare date someone who thinks otherwise! And put yourself before anyone else, always always always." Wise words to remember, self.


It's only been a year since this letter was sent, and yet so many things have changed that it's unbelievable. Next year is one of transition and will undoubtably be full of adventures and surprises; I'm excited to watch it all play out and see what happens.