Journal

Comeback Kid

I apologize in advance for the big block of text that is meant to hail my return.

It has been one full year since I really touched this space.  So much has happened in that little cup of time.  So much of my life has changed.  It’s pretty unnerving to look back to where I was a year ago and see where I am now — mentally, physically, geographically, in life, etc.  Let’s go on a journey, shall we?

I graduated from college.

Probably the most significant thing that’s happened to me, as dictated by society.  I studied art history and anthropology at UC Davis, and while they may not be the most practical fields of study to land a job after graduation, they certainly made the ‘school’ part of the last four years much more enjoyable.  I actually didn’t get to make it to my graduation, though, because…

I went abroad.

Personally, this was my biggest and favorite milestone.  I think ever. For my last quarter at Davis, I did a 10-week study/intern abroad program in London.  It wasn’t really like your typical study abroad program where you enroll in an actual university and take classes there.  It was more like an extended field trip; a group of about 20 students from my college traveled together to London with one of our own professors and took all of our classes together.  The theme of our course was “London on Film” so we spent the majority of our class time watching movies and seeing the development of the city from the silent film era to the present.  Everyone did internships in their own field of interest so it was really cool to hear about everyone’s “job” during our weekly meetings.  I interned at a tiny art gallery near Wimbledon and it was pretty awesome.

It was either the second or third week of my program that I decided to just stay.  I was having the biggest YOLO moment of my life.  The main thoughts going through my head were:  I’m done with school.  I have the resources.  I have the time.  I don’t know when or if I’ll ever make it back here again.  I LOVE IT HERE.  I don’t want to go back home.  If I’m going to travel, this right now is the time and place to do it.  So… Why not?  (Why not?)  Take a crazy chance!

I ended up living there for three more months, which was as long as I was legally allowed to and as long as I could financially support myself (I couldn’t work on a tourist visa).  I may have blown all my money but it was the best experience of my life and I would not trade those five months in London for anything else in the world.

I moved back to California.

Of course, I had to come back home at some point and saying goodbye to my London life (and my boy) was the hardest farewell.  I cried from the security gate all the way until I buckled into my seat on the plane.  And then I cried some more until I passed out from all the free plane booze.

I went back to San Diego and wallowed at my mom’s house for a good month before getting a job.  I started working part-time in retail — not quite where I pictured myself after college, but it’s something that will hopefully bring me to back London.  And I also enjoy the freedom and flexibility it affords me.  I know I should be trying to tie down a full time job right now, but I’m still learning a lot about myself and what I want to do more seriously, and I like having the option to take time off and visit friends, travel and invest more time into exercising.  Call it a first world indulgence.  Other than moving into my own place recently, that pretty much brings me well up to date.  I’ll touch more on my “gap year” in the next post maybe.

Signing off.

– C

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Journal

356 days later

Hey, hi, ho there.

This morning, when I got my post-spin coffeee, I ended up sitting next to a girl who was grinding out all the details for outdoor adventures blog.  And I remembered that I once had a blog too!  And that I used to be pretty good at keeping up with it.  It made me want to get back at it.  Especially since I have so much more free time on my hands now.

I also realized that today marks two months since I’ve been officially living in my first Big Girl apartment.  I’ve been (trying to) lead a Big Girl life for a little while now.  Somehow returning to blogging relates to that.

Another ‘also’ coming up.  Upon actually revisiting my blog, I realized that it has been almost a full year since I’ve actually written anything here.  And somehow I still have page views??  Hey there, viewers!  Who are you?  Say hi!

Anyways, what I’m trying to say ever so elegantly, is that this is my comeback.  Okay, attempt at a comeback.

I’m going to try to be more planned out with content here.  If anything, it’ll be a more wordy version of my Instagram adventures.  And thoughts.  Oh, I have plenty of thoughts.  And almost nothing but time to dwell on those thoughts.

Until I reach the actual 1-year anniversary of my unplanned hiatus, I’ll just be here… quietly shifting things around.  Updating little things on my About page, like the fact that I’m not a student anymore!  Alright, I can see myself shooting off an entire list of things that have changed in the last year but I’ll save that for a later post.  A real one (?!) perhaps.

Okay, here it goes!

– C

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I am the worst blogger ever.  I’ve been in London for nearly three weeks now and I still haven’t created a dedicated blog for my adventures here.  But tonight is the night!  No more excuses.  After I get off from my internship, I’m going to get lunch, sign up for a gym (finally) and plop down at a coffee shop and just play catch-up.

Quick update, yet again.

Aside

Arboretum UC Davis Arboretum Arboretum selfie Mishka's Brunchy brunch at Crepeville Davis.  Cold brew and succulents at Pachamama Coffee.  Alex Reisfar show at the Natsoulas Gallery.  Redwood Groves and gingko carpets at the UC Davis Arboretum. Olive trees at the Mondavi Institute gardens.  Shepherd’s pie and heart attack on a plate at de Vere’s.  Date with Gene Forrester at Mishka’s.

Slice of life as a Davis student.  After 3+ years complaining about the lack of things to do here, I think I’m actually going to miss it in this quiet little town.  Quarter system goes by fast, but they were right about how each quarter closer to graduation goes by faster.  I really can’t wait to finish all my work here and just go to London already, but at the same time I’m not ready to be leave.  My heart isn’t done with Davis yet.

Journal, Travel

I Get Around: Downtown Davis

Gallery
Journal, Music

Recap: Phantogram @ Ace of Spades

Ace of Spades Marquee

SOLD OUT!

It’s been two years since my last concert, a rather intimate “An Evening With”-esque affair with David Choi in San Francisco.  It was a pretty quiet night that went very smoothly and I got to chat with him for a few minutes since he held a meet and greet for the entire audience after the show.  Nothing that could’ve prepared me for incredible energy in the air, the smell of some stoner lighting up in the back of the sold-out venue, and the deafening screams of girls and boys crying out for Sarah Barthel that was the long night of craziness on Friday when I went with Denise to see Phantogram at Ace of Spades in Sacramento.

It. Was. Awesome.

And so confusing.

Let’s start with the fact that the tickets and Ace’s website advertised that doors were opening at 7pm.  I am pretty close to the front of the line at 6:30, waiting for Denise to arrive but her car broke down in a no-parking zone about four blocks away.  7 o’clock arrives, she’s still somewhere in downtown Sacramento trying to flag someone down to jump her car.  Turns out doors weren’t opening until 8, which sucked for me but Denise got there just as the line started to move.  Lucky girl.

The White Sea opened.  I’d never heard of them before and they’re not really my type of music but I did enjoy their song “They Don’t Know.”  After their set, we waited for what felt like 45 minutes before Phantogram finally took the stage and, let me tell you, the crowd was insane.  I’m so glad I got in line early because the place was completely packed wall-to-wall.  We were pretty close to the stage, about three rows back, but a group of incredibly rude (and tall! Girl was wearing a 3-inc bun too!) people pushed their way past us and a group of girls we were standing with.  Another pair of girls who cut us flipped out and almost started a fight when two guys behind us called them out for it.  Five minutes in, this huge marshmallow guy started grinding up on me from behind — NOT OKAY.  He was pushing so hard, I got shoved into bun-girl, who thankfully got rid of him by yelling in his face.  Eventually the crowd pushed marshmallow boy off to the side, but Denise and I got pushed along to the side with him!  Somehow, though, he ended up pushing us closer to the stage and we were in better spots than we were originally.  Okay.  We’ll take that.Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset IMG_5014

Do you see how close we were?!  Anyway, they were AMAZING.  So good.  Eventually, I got so caught up in Sarah’s voice and the buzz in the room that I forgot about how crowded it was and how much my feet hurt (we wore heels to see better).  I was just really excited because we were the first crowd they played songs off their newest album for since it just dropped three days before.  I took lots of pictures and I tried to take videos whenever I had a clear shot, but it was too dark and I was pretty shaky most of the time.  I did manage to lay down all of “When I’m Small” and a good portion of “Don’t Move” though:

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They ended their set a little after midnight, but Denise and I hung around for a bit, not wanting to leave quite yet.

Gratuitous selfie.

Gratuitous selfie.

Such a pretty bar.

Such a pretty bar.

Afterwards, I got hungry so popped over to Burgers and Brew next door for some post-show munchies.  We got a really delicious Nutella cheesecake to share and I got a beer flight.  I’m not much of a beer person but I’m trying to get myself pumped for pubs in London, hah.

Nutella cheesecake

Left to right: Arrogant Bastard Ale, Duchesse de Borgogne, Woodchuck Pear Cider, Lindemans Framboise.

Left to right: Arrogant Bastard Ale, Duchesse de Borgogne, Woodchuck Pear Cider, Lindemans Framboise.

The two on the left were nasty!  But the two on the right, mmm.  They were like juice.  When we finally got home, I was a little bit nervous that I would lose my voice and hearing the next morning (which didn’t happen, thank goodness) because I had a Skype interview the next morning for London (LONDON! LONDON!).  More details on that venture to come.  Right now, I gotta bask in how much fun I had on Friday and Instagram everything.

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Music

Look Beyond

Just a little mix of the songs I’ve been hitting repeat on lately.  It’s been setting the tone for my outfits lately.  Doesn’t it sound very plaid-skirt-and-beret-with-a-chance-of-rain?  Too bad it hasn’t been raining at all lately.  It was cloudy yesterday and on Wednesday, it rained for a whole minute.  If only I had a smoking habit, a cigarette between my middle and index fingers would really top it all off.  Anyway, on to the kind of images/feels that float through my mind whenever I press play…

Most don’t belong to me and were just found on Tumblr, my other home.

Some other little exciting news: I purchased my flight to London yesterday!  It’s officially happening now.  I still can’t believe I’m going.  Orientation is next weekend and I’ll get to meet more of the cats I’ll be spending two and a half months with.  Pretty rad, eh?

Oh and I’m going to a Phantogram show in three weeks with one of my favorite girls in the world.  Last quarter in Davis isn’t looking too shabby at all.  Meeting all kinds of new people (Sophia and Nima, who reminds me of Jake circa 2009), hanging out with friends who actually matter (Saki, Tiff, and Jenny), getting shit done.

Well, I’m off for tonight.  Gotta get ready for dinner (craving bolognese since I saw this recipe this morning… and I also haven’t eaten meat in almost two weeks) with Chris and then we’re catching a late showing of Ride Along.  I deserve a YOLO meal and a lazy day after a midterm and lifting everyday this week, right?  Right.

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Resolutions

Hey guys!  It’s been a couple weeks since I last touched base here.  I’ve been so busy.  I know I say that all the time, but it honestly been nothing short of completely crazy.  My winter break didn’t even feel like a break, since I had a number of family gatherings to go to and I had to play tour guide for some visiting relatives.  I did go rock climbing twice and I watched (only) three episodes of Voyager, but other than that, I was out and about in sunny Southern California every single day.  And as soon as I got back to Northern California, well… I just helped my boyfriend move into his new apartment for two whole days, driving about five hours each day between San Jose and Davis; re-stocking my kitchen with healthy foods; and buying all my school supplies and books for this quarter.  Yes, I have been quite busy, indeed.  I’m only writing this now because I’m on my lunch break.

So I wanted to set in stone my resolutions/goals for this year.  Make them public so I would be somewhat accountable.  So far, I wouldn’t say I’ve been that good about keeping them but the circumstances (driving all day from San Diego to Davis, moving, scrambling to prepare for school) have been preventing me from sticking to my plan.  But last night, I finally set aside the time to get my life together and I am back on track!  Here’s what I hope, maybe in vain, to accomplish:

  • Get regular exercise.  I know this is a bullshit resolution that everyone makes, in addition to eating more healthily (also one of mine), but I’ve actually taken some steps to ensure that I’ll actually keep it… at least through March.  I’ve signed up for an intermediate rock climbing class at school — which I have grown to LOVE and would continue to do so anyway — and a weight training class, which I am taking with my friend Tiffany so we’ll hold each other accountable.  I also scheduled in times to go to the gym just to get some cardio in 3x a week.  I know I’m definitely going to default on this once midterms and papers start piling up, but it’s a start.  AND, this kind of goes in hand with my next resolution, but I got Blogilates’ 2014 Fit Journal and I’ve been really good about recording all the food I eat this first week.  No exercise yet though… unless moving counts as weight training, which it totally does.
  • Eat clean.  (See above re: bullshit resolution.)   I know it’s only the first week and it’s bound to peter out, but I’ve stocked my fridge with the only the healthiest offerings from Whole Foods.  I’ve got my smoothie ingredients all packed up into packets for the week.  I learned how to make overnight oats last night — and they tasted nasty this morning because I didn’t add any sweetener, so I’m learning from that.  I’m testing out toooons of protein powders to decide which one I like best.  Lastly, one of my housemates is on this eat clean journey with me.  Kind of.  She doesn’t know yet but she is.
  • Be more proactive with my professors.  I know this is kind of a late one since it’s my last quarter at UC Davis, but better late than never, right?  I’ve already introduced myself to ALL of them and scheduled their office hours into my free times.  Must do this.
  • Stay on top of schoolwork.  This is a big one.  My real resolution for schoolwork is to actually do the readings when they’re assigned, instead of reading them all two days before an exam.  I was really good about this last quarter, but I slacked off around the third week.
  • Read more for fun.  I say I’ll do this every year, something along the lines of “one non-school book a month” but it’s actually really hard when you’re on a 10-week school schedule and you have three midterms by the fourth week and you have to read 3289578104732810947328 pages for each one.  Instead, I won’t be holding myself to such a rigid (/sarcasm) book requirement but to just do it instead of thinking/wanting/planning to do it.  Like, every time I say I want to read, I’ll just read.  Or instead of spending meaningless hours on Tumblr or Pinterest, pinning covers of books I want to read, to actually go read.  It’s a work in progress.
  • Write more.  Self-explanatory.  Blog more here.  Publicly or personally.  I don’t care.  Just do it.
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