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 positive...it'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

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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

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Officially an alumna of the University of California, Berkeley!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

mission accomplished!

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

Thursday, April 28, 2011

the head and the heart.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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FINALLY, the Head and the Heart came on!

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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!

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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 futureme.org 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: http://becoming-a-bear.blogspot.com/2010/04/all-small-things.html). 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 heart...it'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.

Love,
Yourself


***

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?

"...you 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.

Friday, April 22, 2011

happy birthday, little bear!

I cannot believe that two years ago today, I started this blog. I could not have predicted any of what has come to pass these past twenty-four months, and I am so grateful for all the good--and bad--things that have happened. I wouldn't be who I am today without it all. Two years ago, I didn't know where I'd be going. I was at a major crossroads in my life, unsure of what path to take. I chose Berkeley, and began a journey to which I'm slowly coming to an end. Today, I am a month away from graduating from my dream school and once again at a crossroads. It's somewhat scary, I suppose, but at the same time I'm exhilarated by the idea of the unknown.This post is definitely full of clich├ęs, but they exist for a reason.

Happy birthday, little bear. Let's make this year one to remember.

Monday, April 11, 2011

sleepyhead.



Best remix I've heard in awhile; it's Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead" with the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back." One of the few things adding little bit of sunshine to my ridiculous week!

Things to look forward to (if I survive this week):

WEDNESDAY
-Lecture on The Godfather (I'VE BEEN WAITING ALL SEMESTER FOR THIS)
-Trivia!

THURSDAY
-Turning in my paper on Blue Valentine

FRIDAY
-Turning in the rough draft of my thesis (!!!!)
-FLYING BACK TO LA FOR PASSOVER!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

lost in my mind.

As I delve deeper and deeper into my thesis (and the end of my college career!) I've come to find that blogging has become a fond memory. As much I want to keep you all updated with my witty stories and charming photographs (modest much?), I just don't have the time or the energy to keep up. Talking to one of my roommates today, we realized that we only have three weeks of class left...what the hell?! There's also Dead Week and Finals, but I'll essentially be done in three weeks and that's the most terrifying thing I've ever heard.

In any case, I'm currently sitting at FSM, attempting to force myself to focus and work on my thesis. Considering I'm currently updating my blog, I'd say I'm not being as successful as I should be at getting what I actually need to do done. Oops. As interesting as sharing, image management, and privacy are, especially in the context of the Internet, I'm ready to move on with my life. Never have I ever spent so much time engaged with one particular topic...and hey, it's been great, but come May 5 it's over, time to break up. I've also got a nasty little cold to deal with at the moment, as well as a paper for my Visual Communications class and a paper for my Race and Film class. Luckily the last two are on films of my choosing so at least they'll be interesting to research and write about, but I've never been so ready for a semester to be over.

Read the last sentence of the previous two paragraphs and notice how they contradict one another: terrified, yet ready to move on. That's pretty much my exact state of mind right now.

Enough procrastinating...back to the thesis. But, as reward for reading my barely coherent ramblings, here's some new music from The Head and the Heart! Since hearing them open for Stornoway in December, they've quickly become one of my favorite bands. I'm excited to go see them play in a couple of weeks with Katie and Sierra, an excellent way to spend one of the last nights of my senior year!

Monday, March 28, 2011

running, returning.

Spring Break in five memorable pictures; I'll make a more detailed (and food centric!) post later this week.

16 years & counting <3
My best friend Serena, who I've known since I was 5, came up to Berkeley to visit me! I got to take her to Bear's Lair :)

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We decided to try a Guinness for St. Patrick's Day and discovered that we didn't like it, whoops.


Driving through the Grapevine the morning after it was closed for snow and black ice.


Entrance to the Contemporary/Modern Art building at LACMA.

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I got to see two of my closest friends (and members of the West Wing Crew!) Marisa and Amelia.

Not pictured (by request) is my amazing family, who were the sole reason I came home, as well as my friend Kristina because I never seem to take pictures when we hang out. An excellent break indeed!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

volume I.

I thought I'd share some of the songs I'm currently listening to. As I sink deeper and deeper into the abyss known as writing a thesis, making playlists that motivate me to work and focus has become a fun (and semi-productive?) way to procrastinate. These nine songs are some of my favorites at the moment.

Also, if you have yet to take my survey, make sure and do it! Super easy and super important :) Thanks!


"Rivers and Roads" by the Head and the Heart


"Hiding My Heart" by Adele


"Naked As We Came" by Iron & Wine


"Helplessness Blues" by Fleet Foxes


"Airplanes" by Local Natives


"Ivory Road" by King Charles


"The First Days of Spring" by Noah and the Whale


"King of Spain" by The Tallest Man on Earth


"Rise To Me" by The Decemberists

Friday, March 25, 2011

cards & quarters.

So much for a having a regular Monday post, eh? No worries though, it'll be back next week--this week was Spring Break (and quite possibly the last one of my life!) and so I wasn't online as much as I usually am. I spent the first half of the week in LA, after a weekend with my best friend and an adventurous drive down on Sunday. We left Berkeley around 5, and soon encountered snow, accidents, and flooding, leading us to spend the night in a cigarette and apple scented motel room in Bakersfield. My life! In any case, I got to LA safe and sound by Monday afternoon and proceeded to spend the next three days seeing some of my closest friends and family. It was much needed trip home, and I'm feeling recharged after some well-deserved rest. Hopefully I'll make a picture post soon, lots to share!

I'm back in Berkeley and hard at work on my thesis. I put up my survey today...if you have the time, please take it! I've got a lot to do and I'm running out of time...I can't believe that this semester is very quickly coming to an end.

Monday, March 14, 2011

here, there, and everywhere.

Five things that make me happy!

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Another Team Alice picture, but this one is at a Harry Potter themed party. The combination of two of my favorite things...what could be better??

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I very much enjoy making silly faces at the camera. Just like many people, I've struggled with my self-confidence for years but I think I'm finally starting to love myself for who I am. I'm silly, slightly awkward, intelligent, decent looking, short, and awesome...all good things! It's okay to not always take myself--and life--so seriously. My life is a sitcom, so why fight it? Take yesterday, for example, when I slipped and fell on a bus. Could have started crying (it hurt! and I'm STILL sore), but instead started laughing. If my life is going to be a sitcom, then I'm going to enjoy having a laugh, even if it is at my expense a bit sometimes.

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Oh god, Cheeseboard. Perhaps my favorite eatery in Berkeley and definitely my favorite pizza in the world, Cheeseboard makes quality vegetarian pizzas that are fresh, delicious, and creative. This pizza is roasted potatoes, caramelized onions, mozzarella and gruyere cheese, garlic oil, & fresh herbs. PERFECTION.

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Katie (of the brilliant RedSaidBlog) is one of my best friends and I love spending time with her. So much laughter, so much love!

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Not to brag, but this is the highest grade I've ever gotten on a paper at Berkeley. I never get solid A's, always B+'s or A-'s. So frustrating to almost get an A but not be good enough...but not this time! It's an amazing feeling to see my hard work (and lack of social life) paying off.

This week is my last week of classes before Spring Break, and although I've got a lot to get done, I'm super excited because my childhood best friend is coming up on Thursday! I haven't seen Serena since winter break and I'm stoked to be able to show her around Berkeley...and by show her around, I mean eat at all of my favorite places in Berkeley in one weekend. After she leaves on Sunday, I'm packing my bags and heading down to LA for a couple of days to see my lovely family and recoup; I'll be back on Wednesday and ready to work on my thesis for the rest of my break!

Monday, March 7, 2011

shaking my confidence daily.

Feeling overwhelmed, so I'm going to copy one of my favorite bloggers (Emily of Cupcakes & Cashmere) and do a post about five things I currently love. I figured it would be a good way to keep me posting (at least once a week, every Monday) and also force me to look at five things in life that make me smile.

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Wednesday night trivia with Team Alice! My friends and I all go to our favorite campus pub (the Bear's Lair) and play trivia every week. They are such an amazing group of women and even though we never win it's always the best part of my week. Also, the staff is incredible!

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Cooking has somehow become the way that I relieve stress. This mac & cheese (which is this recipe for the actual mac & cheese and this one for the topping) was probably the best I've ever made. Amazing.

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The Yoda that my friend Elek made out of tape is absolutely amazing, and it's definitely my favorite part of my room. Looking at it reminds me "do or do not, there is no try." Got it, Master Yoda!

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Judge me if you want, but it gets me through the day...and with the amount of shit I have to get done everyday, it's necessary.

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Right, I'm a nerd. Hope you don't mind. I love Harry Potter and when I have a spare minute (or I'm procrastinating) I'll pick up one of the books and read a couple of chapters to clear my mind. I'm definitely a Gryffindor for life :)

This is going to be a long week, but I think that looking at it one day at a time as well as looking at the good things around me will help me make it through. Also, listening to good music also helps, so here's the Local Natives doing a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia," enjoy! xo

Saturday, February 19, 2011

we both go down together.

I've noticed that as of late, I've become a lot pickier about what I want to post here. I don't want to post inane ramblings, or miscellaneous film reviews. I haven't posted pictures in awhile, mostly because I haven't really done anything worthy of documenting and I never have my camera with me anymore. I'm in an unusual state of mind, trying to finish strong at Cal and make a decent entrance into the so-called "real world." I'm so unsure of what I want and of where I'll be in the next few months that it's making it really hard to focus on the present.

School is stressful. Such a simple sentence for such a complicated statement! Last night, I came to the alarming realization that this weekend I was way behind on on work. I needed to write a 1 page response on the documentary "We Live in Public" (which I HIGHLY recommend watching if you get a chance, it's on Netflix Instant watch!), a 4-5 page analytical paper on an image and the cultural myth/ideologies it perpetuates (which is far, FAR more complicated than it sounds; I'm writing my paper on this image), a 4-5 page segment for my thesis on the methods I'm utilizing PLUS editing and re-writing my literature review (the first 10 pages of my thesis). I also had to watch The Jazz Singer, and this isn't taking into account the hundreds upon hundreds of pages of reading that I have yet to do, or the stuff I have to do for my Apartment Assistant job.

It's so funny to me when I hear people tell me that they think I have it "all together"...if that were the case, I wouldn't be freaking out right now! I guess it's best to appear put-together rather than frantic and mildly neurotic, but it's also frustrating that people don't believe me when I say I've got a lot on my plate; a double-edged sword indeed. It's stressful, but when I think of how far I've come, I start to feel better. I'm a transfer student and yet I've taken on so much; I'm actually really proud of myself, and when I think about that, it helps me calm down and focus. I've made a to-do list and a calendar of the weekend, trying to balance out my ridiculous amount of work with a pathetic attempt at a social life and I think that if I stick to it, I should be alright. I've been at FSM all day with Nick, one of my fellow AAs and I've already finished the 1 page response paper and outlined a lot of my 4-5 page image analysis, so hurray!

Also! This past Monday was Valentine's Day. It's a holiday I've never liked (reading through my old paper journal, I laughed when 13-year-old me complained about the commercialization of love~), but my friend Katie surprised me with tickets to go see The Decemberists at the Fox Theater in Oakland. It was without a doubt one of the BEST concerts I'd ever been to, and it was a necessary reminder to stop killing myself over school and live a little. When they played my favorite song ("The Engine Driver") I started crying; to finally hear a song that has helped me through so much played live, by the people who wrote it...that's a feeling unlike any other. They also married a couple on-stage (!!) and had a jam session...all in the middle of a song. It was, in a word, epic. Another word? Perfect. Another? Amazing. There are not enough good things to say about a band that I've loved since I was sixteen and has been with me through some of the most challenging and important moments of my life, and I'm so lucky to have been able to see them for a second time with such delightful company :)

Here's a video someone in the audience took of the very last song they played in their second (!) encore, "June Hymn." Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

blue valentine.



Nothing lasts forever. We're born, we live, and we die. What happens after that, no one knows, and although we have no control over our birth or our death, we certainly have much to do with the quality of our lives while we're living. There's no such thing as "forever," at least in my mind, and that was one of my favorite parts of Blue Valentine--the acknowledgement of the idea that we live and love in the moment, but that's all we can do. We don't know what the future will hold, so how can we control it, or pretend to think that we know what will work 30 years from now? We don't, and we won't. I'm quickly learning that it's all about living in the moment. I know we all have our share of bad days, but it's about trying to see what we don't like and taking it upon ourselves to fix it. It's easy to let the negativity get to us, and much too easy to let it overwhelm us. I'm incredibly guilty of this, but I'm trying to fight back.

Today I was talking to my boss, complaining about the last few days. They'd been pretty shitty, to be honest--thesis-ing is stressful (as much as I love my topic, it's a bit daunting), and add lots of work, root canal recovery, hundreds of pages of complex reading, a 3 hour silent film about white supremacy (watched for a race & film class, mind you) and an unexpected break-up to the mix and you've got all the makings for disaster. "But you know," I said, "life goes on and all that jazz." My boss made a comment about admiring my positive attitude, and it caught me off-guard. Me, positive? When did that happen? The truth of the matter is, I was always a negative kid. It would drive my parents crazy how I would always find *something* to complain about or be upset about. But, reading through my past few blog posts and my own personal journal, I realize that I've made a complete 180 in terms of the way I look at the world. It's been a slow process, but all of the sudden I am finding the best in everything around me. Dumped unexpectedly? It sucks, definitely...BUT, I am super busy with my thesis/last semester of undergrad...and who wants to be tied down when I've got the world ahead of me? There's always a silver lining. It was what it was, and it was lovely while it lasted, but it's over and that's that. Time to move on, focus on my research, my future, and my life. My friend Morgan and I were discussing this over mimosas at La Note and decided that this is going to be known as "Fresh-Start February," a clean slate to start over with. As President Bartlet would say, "What's next?"


Speaking of my thesis, I'm writing it on the Internet, identity, and privacy--why do people post what they post, and how does this determine the image they want to give off to the world? Obviously, I don't have an answer yet, but in terms of myself, I've always found that writing is the most therapeutic way to deal with the world. The reason I post is that I hope that someone will read this and find that my words help them through a similar situation, or that they feel that they have an ally in the world, even if only on the Internet.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

inconceivable!

This semester is already turning out to be ridiculous.

As a transfer student who only gets two years at Cal, I definitely wanted to do everything possible to get as much as I could out of my college experience. Not to say I didn't get something out of my community college years--that was an experience in it of itself--but Berkeley was, and is, different. In any case, I immediately got involved in a variety of things, helping me avoid that period of homesickness that a lot of people experience once they move away to school. Though fall semester of 2009 was an adjustment period, it was the foundation for an amazing spring, summer, and fall of 2010. I went through a lot since I've been here--moving away, going somewhere in which I was completely alone with no one I knew around me, living with people I didn't know (and didn't particularly care for, for the most part), attending classes where the expectations and the stakes were tremendously high, my first serious relationship and first intense break-up, my first foray into the world of college partying (ha), meeting tons of new people, learning how to build friendships from the bottom up, learning how to trust people and let them in, growing up, working...it's a lot in a short amount of time.

In any case, the lack of time has led me to push myself more than a lot of people might have. This semester is already turning out to be ridiculously busy; despite the fact that I'm only taking two classes, I'm also writing an honors thesis (!), working as an Apartment Assistant, working as the advisor for the Apartment Association, and working front desk at Hillel. Attempting to maintain any sort of social life while all of this is going on is all sorts of impossible. I had to quit CalTV because I literally have no free time, and seeing my friends has become a fond memory. I'm torn--I don't want to waste my last semester of college in the library, but at the same, I don't want to waste my last semester at Berkeley screwing around, especially because I'm not sure if I'm even going to grad school right now. If this is my last semester in school ever, not only is that a terrifying thought but it's also motivation to push myself ridiculously hard. It's a fine line, and it appears that, at least for the moment, I've chosen academia over socializing. I have made a point to take Wednesday nights off--that's trivia night at the Bear's Lair, where my friends and I have been trivia regulars since last November. It's the highlight of my week, surrounded by friends and the coolest bar staff EVER, but then it's over and I go back to hitting the books. Other than that and the occasional movie/game night, I only get to see my friends when I study or eat with them. It kind of sucks, but hey, what can I do?

I can't believe I'm graduating in a matter of weeks. I can't believe that on May 5, I'll have completed a thesis (on the internet, identity, and privacy...it's going to be AWESOME). I'm currently job hunting, and although I'd love to stay in the Bay Area, I might be moving back to LA. I'm in shock, honestly.

Also, this is tangental but I can't believe I'm having an emergency root canal today, haha. I don't have time for this!

Ridiculous.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

january hymn.

Dear 2011,

I know we've only just met, but I've got a few things to say to you. I knew you were coming--who didn't?--and i'd like to say I was ready and prepared to meet you. To be honest, I was scared of you. I know that with your appearance would come an overwhelming number of changes in my life, many of which I'd like to think I will meet head-on. I will be graduating from Berkeley (!) in May and moving on into the real world. I'll be looking for jobs and thinking about applying to graduate school--I'll have to grow up. In that sense, I was dreading meeting you, because it would mean the end of an era.

But you, you had some tricks up your sleeve. Though it's only the 20th, so much has happened! Something clicked, and I cannot even try to explain what it was but all of the sudden I was no longer scared of what you had to offer. I was all of the sudden excited, and for the first time in my life, really appreciative of trying to enjoy every moment possible. I've made a point of writing at least a couple of sentences about my day every day (or more, if I've got the time) and it's one of the best decisions I've made. Last semester, I realized I needed to think more positively and try to find the silver lining. Now, it's time to enjoy the little things--the sunshine on my face, a smile shared by friends, a recipe gone inexplicably well, a memory that makes me laugh, a glass of wine after a long day--the details are what matters now.

This year has been off to such a good start. It hasn't been easy as you've already provided a plethora of difficult situations, but I've made it through smiling. Here's to the start of an excellent friendship.

Love,
Andrea


Saturday, January 1, 2011

fuel up.

For me, there's no better feeling than that of writing in a brand new Moleskine planner, in which the metaphor of starting the year on a new page comes to life. Ridiculously cheesy, I know, but I've always liked the idea of starting anew, and there's no better way to do that than with a new planner for a new year!

This past year was a hard one, with some of the highest and lowest points thus far. 2011 is a big year--graduating college, figuring out what to do post-college, possibly (unfortunately) leaving Berkeley, maybe moving back to Los Angeles, adjusting to possibly moving back home for a bit, etc. There's a lot I'm looking forward to, and a lot I'm dreading, but I'm certain that this will be a year to remember, and if I have anything to do with it, there's going to be a hell of a lot more good memories than bad ones.

I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be a good one, full of love, music, memories, papers, introspection, family, transition, sunshine, adventures, good food, friends, research, kindness, happiness, and change.

Happy New Year, readers!



so fuel up your mind and fire up your heart and drive on
drive on, drive on...
and when your days are darker put your foot down harder,
drive on, drive on.