Category Archives: Life

Tasty pasties and other good things

After all that bragging about going to London, I haven’t said much about my adventures here so far. Allow me to catch you up on a few things that I’ve learned and enjoyed.

A British family walks down the street, little girl waves a flag

On our way to see the Olympic Torch. (These people aren’t me.)

  1. I love the Tube. Traveling on the Underground is fantastic, in spite of the occasional overcrowding/weird smell/heat. The Oyster cards we bought allow us to easily get wherever we want to go in the city, and it’s great time for conversing with the group. I wish we had a metro system at home. Plus I just love imitating the announcer: “Mind the gap!”
  2. The food is different, but it’s not a bad sort of different. While we can’t find iced sweet tea, I’m quite fond of the hot tea here. Tesco, the grocery store down the street from us, is filled with all sorts of interesting foods. Becca and I especially enjoy the yogurt. I’ve also enjoyed some foods similar to home, with only slight though decidedly British differences, notably the strange condiment selections offered with burgers and “chips.” Mushy peas seem like a waste of perfectly good vegetables—why mash peas when they taste good as they are?—but I haven’t come across many other vegetables so far anyway. Pasties, on the other hand, are absolutely delicious. Flaky pastry with savory fillings like “cheese, tomato and basil” (with potatoes and onions, too) and “chicken mushroom.” I was so busy eating my pasty that I forgot to snap a picture!
  3. Almost everything about the Olympics is incredible. We’re watching women’s gymnastics on BBC as I write this, and I keep getting distracted by their amazing talent. Although I’m very excited for “the tight machine that is Team USA,” seeing so much excitement on the home turf for Team GB has made me quite sympathetic towards Great Britain. They have some lovely marketing campaigns for the Olympics as well. I’m also absolutely thrilled to be over here, to be surrounded by so many different cultures and to celebrate these athletes and the amazing countries they represent. Watching the Olympics on the BBC isn’t bad, either.
  4. It’s such a strange feeling to be able to visit all these London icons that I’ve seen so many times on the television. It’s surreal. I’ve stood near Big Ben a few times already, and it still hasn’t sunk in completely. I’m in awe a lot.
  5. The place we’re staying is absolutely adorable. I could live here forever. Except for the mouse that may or may not be eating our bread. He’s gotta go.
  6. I’ve been working on my British accent.
  7. John Wesley’s church was not what I expected it to be, but I am very glad that Hillary and Will and I got to visit this morning. It was a very cool experience, despite our rainy trek back to the nearest tube station.
  8. While my British accent isn’t really improving, my understanding of producing news packages is improving greatly. I’m also getting better at setting up the camera and tripod quickly, considering I was rather out of practice at the start of the summer. Our second news package is finally complete, and there are many more to come!

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I’m looking forward to London

I’m going to London. I’ll be there for the Olympics, with many of my classmates. While I’ve been to Europe twice before, I have never been to the UK, so I’m looking forward to a few things.

  1. The Olympics themselves. Of course. So many talented athletes in one place; so many countries coming together to celebrate their differences and their similarities and so on. I’ve been to plenty of professional sporting events, but never anything like this.
  2. People watching. It should be very interesting.
  3. Men in suits. My roommate told me there’s a bunch of them in England. I’m a fan.
  4. My class. I’ll be getting a lot of great journalism experience while in London through my summer class. It’s going to be awesome.
  5. I won’t have to pack when I get there, because I’ll already be packed! Not to mention that it’s easier to  (I hate packing. I’ve been putting it off as long as possible.)
  6. British culture. I get to experience new things, sightsee, explore the city, meet new people. Not to mention that I really love traveling.
  7. It’s been really hot at home. The London weather will be much cooler. In fact, you might say…

It's cardigan weather

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New Love

I feel like I’ve learned more about love this week than I have in the last 21 years of my life—and it seems like I’m learning everything the hard way. It’s probably more that I’m learning to apply things I already knew but somehow forgot when it came to putting love into action.

But being that this is a discussion that I don’t want to get into, and seeing as how unresolved so many things in my life are currently, let’s go a slightly different direction. Let’s talk about love in general. What does love mean to you? How does our Western culture shape your personal view of love? (Remember, I’m American. If by some bizarre chance you are reading this and come from a different culture, I’m very much interested in your opinion as well.)

The New Love Project

My friend Daniel just launched the preproduction portion of a documentary called The New Love Project. Besides being excited to see one of my friends move forward with something he’s passionate about, I am genuinely excited to see what he uncovers in his love-related research. I’m also thrilled to get to help promote this project on Facebook (hint, hint: check it out! It’s on Twitter, too!)

The most exciting part of this whole project is that you can get involved, too! That’s right! We’ve all seen your sappy or bitter or whatever kind of loving feeling posts you’ve written or reblogged or retweeted. We know what you dance to when you’re home alone. Ok, I don’t know any of those things, really, but it kind of just comes with the territory of being human and having an internet connection. Anyway, the cool thing is that you can share all your thoughts on the subject of love. The New Love Project website has plenty of prompts that make for great conversations with friends as well. But, uh, well, here. See for yourself. Watch the video. Visit the site. Share the love.

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Words are

This is not my week. This is not how I wanted my summer to be. But in less than a week, I leave for an incredible (and incredibly exciting) opportunity, and I have many great friends whom I really love, even if things aren’t that simple all the time. Even if at least one of these friendships is, well, I don’t have words for it right now.

But what good are words, anyway? It’s a strange thought coming from me, seeing as I really love words and to write and to read and so on. But what good are they, if you can’t convey what you mean? Are they enough? Are they too much?

Image

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Some editing required.

“To do anything well requires a lot of editing,” my professor once told me.

I’ve been realizing this a lot lately, and not just in my writing. Life is full of edits and things we wish we could edit. What I wouldn’t give for a time machine some days, to go back and fix things—or maybe un-“fix” them, to do something right instead of the easy solution.

In all honesty, however, I wouldn’t change a thing in my past, time machine or not. As much as I hate to admit so at times, everything that’s ever happened (or not happened, as it may be) in my life has made me who I am today, and taking back any one thing, no matter how inconsequential it might seem, would change all of that. It’s not worth losing all that.

No, I can’t change what’s already happened, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do anything about what’s happening now and what will happen. As I said, anything done well requires editing, and who doesn’t want to live well? Still, not all editing is good editing. And sometimes, you don’t even get to be the one editing your life. Like turning my articles over to my editor, when I let people into my life, they get that chance to forever change it, good or bad.

That’s what you do when you make friends; they edit you. They encourage you to be something else, something more. But friends aren’t the only ones who edit. And what can you do when the editing is beyond your control? I mean, people can even edit you out of their life, and you don’t get a say in any of it.

And what about those who get cut out of your life, deliberately or not? Sure, you can try to edit in a few more moments with a person, but you know it won’t last. People move away, people move on, people die. It’s all a part of growing up, of editing. No one ever said edits were easy, and they definitely aren’t pleasant.

The best intentions can end in a painful edit, too. Friendships change or edit as you grow older; some grow apart, some grow closer…some even grow into something more.

I guess it’s true that friends aren’t always in your life forever, but their impact can be. But that’s another thing. The bad stuff only edits you if you let it. Sure, it’ll take more work to turn those problems into something good, but it’s not impossible. Then again, the good can only change you if you let it, too. The final edit is always up to you.

Sometimes, I do a different type of editing. Everyone does it. Put on a happy face to cover the hurt. Pretend. Act civil to the people you know are just watching and waiting for you to mess up, waiting for that little mistake that gives them the “right” to block you from their life, literally or just on Facebook.

Or maybe I edit a little differently.

Instead of faking it, maybe I can actually wish happiness upon those people. Maybe I can be genuinely concerned about others, even when I am upset or hurt myself. Those are edits too, ones that improve your character. See, there reaches a point where making yourself do the right thing becomes what you want to do. And that’s the goal: not to be the best—no, impossible—but be the best possible you.

And sometimes, that means saying what you mean, even if the people who need to hear it in all likelihood won’t ever read a word, or they’ll completely misinterpret it. And that’s fine—not that I could do anything about it anyway—but like I said, that’s not up to me to change their mind. It’s just up to me to try.

Originally written more than a year ago, but I found it still just as applicable today.

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Adventures with Fregetables!

If you’ve spent much time with me, you may know that I love fruits and vegetables. I’m not a vegetarian, but I still have a great appreciation for these foods. In honor of this love and a dear friend’s mispoken words, I give you… Fregetables. [More to come soon]

If grapes were corn.

If carrots were strawberries.

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I can do that

We can all be creative. See? Here’s a bird’s nest my cousin made.

I’ve never been so creative in my life. I feel like I’m finally getting into the things I really love and making time to explore different aspects of creation. This summer I’ve written posts and journaled and sketched; I’ve designed in Photoshop and InDesign; I’ve read and sang and baked and made playlists and taught myself guitar. I’ve dabbled in both film and digital photography; I’ve even edited a few videos.

I think these few weeks have been a great time of preparation for the coming school year. I’m really looking forward to my senior year, but I want to be sure I make the most of my time left in college. I really want to enjoy my time, to not waste it, and I think taking advantage of my creative talents will make this year my best. [I’ve also been doing some major prep for my screenwriting class in the fall. I’ve still got a very long way to go, though.]

I’m looking forward to continuing to create new things. With the exception of Photo 1 and  Graphic Design 1 in college, I haven’t had an “art” class since seventh grade, so I fell out of the habit of doing random projects for fun. I used to draw maps of worlds I created. I used to draw a lot of things, but I got to the point that I didn’t even doodle in class when I was bored. It’s been really fun for me to explore all sorts of different arts and interests, and I can’t wait to see where this takes me in the future. I’m also excited to have something to do again in less-exciting classes, haha.

I most recently finished a business card design for a friend. My next idea I want to pursue is “fregetables,” whatever that may look like. [A “fregetable” is the combination of a vegetable and a fruit. The word itself, besides being incredibly fun to say, is a sort of inside joke.] I have a few ideas for a Photoshop design.

Then again, I may change my mind. I can do that; I’m a girl.

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