Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"If you think that happiness means total peace, you will never be happy. Peace comes from the acceptance of the part of you that can never be at peace."

Watch this? [please]. You know who you are. 


"And for your entire life, you will be doing, on some level, the opposite—not only of what you were doing—but of what you think you are. That is just going to go on. What you do with all your heart, you will do the opposite of. And what you need to do is to honor that, to understand it, to unearth it, to listen to this other voice." 

"You have, which is a rare thing, that ability and the responsibility to listen to the dissent in yourself, to at least give it the floor, because it is the key—not only to consciousness—but to real growth. To accept duality is to earn identity. And identity is something that you are constantly earning. It is not just who you are. It is a process that you must be active in."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Found in my desk drawer in Colorado. Shay & me circa 1994ish. I miss this woman every day. Home is a different place without her.

I arrived in Colorado two weeks ago this evening, and I'm getting in my car tomorrow morning and driving to my second--or is it third?--home, Salt Lake City, Utah. Other than the weekend I spent in SLC last October, I haven't been there since I graduated at the beginning of last May, just over a year ago. Given that out of my entire friend group, about 50% of my close friends live in SLC, I decided I wanted to spend at least some portion of my summer there having picnics, going to shows, taking walks, having dinners, going on late night drives, and basically falling into my old SLC routine and pretending I still live there. Because I've been over this before in another post: I do still live in Salt Lake City. My life continued there after I left it for Colorado and LA. Part of me will always live in SLC no matter where in the world I am.

But before I leave for SLC, my OCD compels me to post about my remaining days in Colorado, which were spent similarly to the first several days: lots of yoga, lots of eating out at my favorite restaurants, lots of time with my close friends and their adorable children, lots of time relaxing in my valley alone, with my parents, and with my best friends' mom.
Cuddle Puddle

One day I went down to Denver to meet my girls for BBQ at a restaurant one block from my old apartment.

Another day I took my parents to Boulder where we wandered the streets, did a little shopping, ate ALL the food and drank ALL the alcohol so there'd be none left for the Boulder Boulder-ers. Ok not really. But I'm still full from that night.
Yes, this is exactly what it looks like. A gentleman carrying a tank of goldfish
around Boulder. He won them. I love that I live in a world where something
like this can happen.
I bought this. Because, hi, it's laser cut wood and the gears actually work.

Some night, I ended up downtown at a classy sports bar on 16th. Wandered a bit. Downtown gets better every year. I eventually met up with one of my high school best friends and spent the rest of the night watching him rock the crowds on 16th with his magic show. I am being completely earnest. He is incredible. He made a goldfish in a glass appear out of nowhere and he can draw a crowd bigger and faster than any other magician I've seen busking. I am so proud of him and I can't wait to return to Colorado in July to celebrate his wedding.

The most glorious part of Colorado are the skies, especially when they're luscious, full of light & rain, and hang gently over bright green, blooming landscapes and rolling hills that grow to mountains right at the point where the road to my house in the Valley begins.

Also, I took a bunch of photos of my cat. I try not to post these anywhere, but sometimes I just love him so much and I have to share his magnificence with the world. So excuse the following excessive Noops photos. He's a diva. He loves to be photographed. He is my husband, best friend, and child, and he is the longest man. I won't see him for the next five and a half weeks because I'll be exploring SLC, LA, NYC, Ohio, Alabama, and Kentucky, so please excuse the following rare indulgence. 
Noops with his crew. 
Woke up from a nap to find that a cat had grown out of my new dress.
Noops is skeptical of the weird thing my dad insists on having on the
kitchen table.

cat + geometry. stalking me as usual.
What I wake up to first thing every morning.
He hates when we have to get out of bed for the day.
Oh, and this is Sink Cat. I always wanted a sink cat, and now we have one.
Her name is Sink Cat. Or New Cat. Or Inhaler. Her name is not whatever
stupid name my parents will tell you it is if you ask them. They are liars.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Instead of writing another overly sentimental blog post about all my emotionsss, I'm going to post something I was going to post back in August: pictures of my Los Angeles apartment. Because I was talking to someone today about how most of the people I know have their one thing that they're passionate about, enough so that they make their living doing it, but they also have so many other side interests that are often just as much a part of their lives as their main focus/career/whatever. Jake was the king of this. He was a poet and professor, but he could talk about any subject, could make basically anything, could do whatever he put his mind to, which resulted in a lot of incredible things. Most of my life, I wanted to be a visual artist. Somewhere along the line, that morphed into interior design, which kind of branched off into architecture, then eventually evolved into a specific obsession with furniture, followed by amateur photography [I can probably blame instagram and hipstamatic for this].

Somewhere in between architecture and furniture, I fell in love with literature and writing and decided to make those my one thing that I'd pursue with all my energy. I left behind other passions: physics, astronomy, math. Yes, once upon a time I loved math. I still love math, I just never use it and have sadly lost some fundamentals. While studying literature and writing, I became interested in education, started volunteering with students in all age groups, and occasionally thought about leaving graduate school to become one of those people who tries to overhaul the education system. One of the frustrating things about being in grad school in the humanities is that your impact on your community is often more abstract than direct [at least in my case], and it feels excessively self indulgent at times to be constantly focused on things like narrative theory or poetics or digital experimentations and innovations in contemporary writing and scholarship. But at the end of the day, I know there are only so many hours in my life, and if I don't pick one thing I love, one thing that makes me happy, makes me send good energy out into the world, drives me to interact and create, then I'll never settle on anything and I'll try and do everything and I'll exhaust myself before I ever get anywhere. So I picked something six and a half years ago, and everything else, for the most part, has been relegated to side project. Which brings me to my apartment in Los Angeles.

I am obsessed with design. I bought a bunch of furniture back when I moved into my own apartment at the beginning of my second year of college. I've moved around a lot, reconfigured arrangements as my apartments changed sizes, collected many souvenirs during my travels. One way I can exercise my desperate need to design is in my own apartment. I spent months searching craigslist for the perfect place. I knew I wanted something small, because the more space I have, the fewer constraints I have, and I always work better with constraints. So here's the result. A one bedroom bungalow with a small, fenced-in front yard with string lights, an in-unit washer/dryer & all kitchen appliances, a small walk-in closet, and central heating & A/C. This did not come without effort. I probably looked at over 1,000 east side apartments on craigslist and contacted maybe 50 different people about potential places to live.

Not every part of my place is pictured here because I took these photos months ago, but this is most of it, and the details. Because now that I have no more apartment left to design, all I can do is show low quality photos instead. Some of these I posted at random times over the past 10 months. Basically everything is in one medium sized room, the kitchen is in the hallway that leads past the bathroom to my bedroom.
Living Room: Dining Area
Living Room: Sitting Area
Back of Living Room
Front of Living Room
This is actually from my SLC apartment, but I have the same set up in LA
underneath the window pictured in the photo above this one. 
Office
Kitchen
Bathroom
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom window
Front Yard
Front Yard
Front Yard
Front Yard at night
Details:
Four sands from the four deserts I visited last summer: UT, NV, AZ, TX
Fruit from my tree
Kitchen
Btwn Kitchen and Bedroom
Kitchen
Above bookshelf
Bathroom
Office. This wall has since collected far more objects.
Dining Area. I recently bought pepper for that other guy. Not because I like
pepper, but because he was getting sad being all empty like that.
Kitchen
Office
Above Kitchen sink window
Office
Above bookshelf
Above bookshelf
Kitchen
Bedroom
Bedroom
Living Room window
Office
Living Room window
Bedroom
How I convert my Living Room/Office into a Guest Room with an air mattress.
Come visit me!!
I also did a post when I moved to LA of all the art on my walls. And I did another post last year when I redesigned the only other space I call my own, my childhood bedroom. But I still constantly feel the urge to imagine and organize and plan spaces. Sometimes I even get on craigslist and look at apartment listings in LA just so that I can have a new space to picture designing. I have no actual desire to move though. I am in love with my tiny apartment, my quaint 8 bungalow apartment complex, and my convenient East Hollywood neighborhood. So I have to take my design obsession elsewhere, which I can basically only do when someone else funds it. Today, my mom let me buy just about every succulent ever so I could make her some succulent gardens in our backyard because Colorado summers are getting hotter all the time, and she wanted something she didn't have to water constantly now that we're in a drought. Again. Sometimes I wish Colorado would stop pretending to be the desert. Anyway, I started with a pile of succulents and went from there.
We spent tons of time at our favorite local flower store.
And she even bought me some planters to bring back to LA so I can make my own succulent gardens in my front yard to join the one I made several weeks ago with a camping mug and some random cactus cuttings that I did or did not steal from various places in my neighborhood