Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Chico calling…

August 22, 2007

All roads lead to ... chico?

I had decided yesterday, after quietly going crazy working all day in my (now air conditioned!) room, it’s time to get out of town. Yes folks, the great town of Chico is calling my name, and I’m happily leaving Pasadena’s summer lull of work and study behind me … for a few days.

As if I needed another sign or intuitive prod to do something as crazy as drive 8 hours north to Chico to see some amazing friends, I opened up the new issue of Via, and found a full-spread picture of one of my favorite spots in C-town staring right back at me: One Mile at Bidwell Park.

All doubt of my newly planned trip quickly vanished, replaced with a mental note to pack my Mexico blanket. During my undergrad, I spent countless afternoons among those huge trees with a good book and slurpee in hand. Life doesn’t get much better.

As if that weren’t enough, The new Real Simple had something to add to my building internal conversation too: they featured the Chico Bag. Created and originally sold in Chico, this little nylon bag is a local staple for the farmers market attendees and the environmentally friendly.

Ohhh I hear you Chico, I’m coming…

Who needs a jewlery box?

August 16, 2007

Who needs a jewelry box...

I came back from Mexico a few weeks ago with enough new jewlery to double my modest collection. While it’s very exciting to have some fun new earings and necklaces, it posed a question of storage … where do I put this stuff? Even more, where do I put this stuff so I see it, remember I have it, and will actually wear it?

I started looking at jewelry solutions online, and the box I liked at Pottery Barn ran $100. Hmm… There was the cheap plastic storage options at the Container Store, but I’d rather put that money towards the nicer box.

Then I started thinking … what about those coffee sleeves?

I think I’ve mentioned my strange compulsive collection… I made a wreath out of them last fall (again a reaction to not wanting to spend big bucks for a nice seasonal wreath) and I’ve been hoarding them since. In addition, my friends pass theirs along (special thanks here for Scott and Tracy who kept their collection at home and recently handed me a worthy stack of about 50!).

Well… my conviction that these sleeves have more functionality than preventing burns finally paid off… I started stapling them together into a honeycomb pattern to create little cubbies to store my necklaces, bracelets, anklets, clips, hair bands, etc.

x3

I created three units out of seven sleeves each, and strung them from two nails in the wall. I didn’t know if it would hold, but they’ve done a fair job. Each cubby is a little unique, so it takes a little coaxing sometimes to convince pieces to stay, but overall, it works well. I poke earrings through the sleeve material letting them dangle.

While I will probably not store my jewelry in coffee sleeves forever, I have to say, I’m pretty satisfied. I saved $100, worked with my hands, and finally justified my crazy collection habit!

Walking out…

August 9, 2007

Perhaps it’s the heat of summer, maybe it’s the LA mindset, or maybe I’m finally finding some personal freedom… whatever the reason, I’ve noticed I’ve been walking out of things lately. Here’s what I mean:

Class
This is not my proudest moment, but consider the circumstances: eight hours of class (six of which was spent slowly and painfully picking through the Gospel of Luke), consumption of one half of a huge airpot of coffee (can we say over caffeinated!?), and my frustration that this class had failed my expectations. These, in addition to online chatting with classmates, led to a state of humor and delirium that gave me the giggles. I started laughing so hard I couldn’t hold it back, and I had to walk out of class. Again not my proudest moment, but it sure felt good to laugh that hard.

Church
Here it is: I’m having a hard time with church lately. I think it’s a side effect of being in seminary, but it’s really confusing and frustrating. While I’m being spiritually fed in classes, readings, conversations, the 60 minute church service has become unsatisfying and uncomfortable. It’s not for lack of trying, believe me. In addition, my sporadic travel keeps me from regular attendance, and my roommate who I normally go with to a local congregation, is gone for the next 6 weeks. Regardless, last Sunday I was so thirsty for the presence of God that I willed myself to go alone and put up with the rituals of the suburban attractional church. I sat down and waited …

A recent Fuller grad preached so full of theological wit that made me feel I was more in the classroom than church. I started to grimace, but I kept with it … until he flashed a timeline of Israel’s history on screen. This was the exact same timeline I had been studying the past four hours for an Old Testament midterm the following Tuesday. My heart and hungry spirit sank. Another study session was not what I needed to connect with God. I contemplated sitting there as a practice of endurance, but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the strength. I got up and walked out.

Movies
I’ve seen some pretty crazy movies this past year, especially like Trade, Teeth, or Adrift in Manhattan at Sundance. I’d say I’ve developed a tolerance to sit through almost anything. I can resign it to a filmmaker or Hollywood’s vision, and appreciate it for what it is on its own terms. Yet doing so has desensitized me to the jarring nature of film.

Last night, a friend and I went to see Goya’s Ghosts with Natalie Portman. I got my artists confused and thought it would be about Gauguin and the wife he left behind to pursue painting. Not so. It was a very vivid and disturbing portray of the Inquisition in Spain, including how people were “put to the question” (i.e. tortured) to gain a confession to heresy. My friend leaned over after an intense abuse scene and said, “This is making me uncomfortable, I need to leave, but feel free to stay.”

I thought about it, but decided to walk out too. As soon as we hit the lobby, I knew it was a good decision. While at some point I’ll rent it to see the end, walking out validated how horrible the historical event of the Inquisition was, how powerful the medium of film can be, and how effected we are by the images on screen. It was good for me to say back to my friend, “Yea, this is pretty intense. Let’s go.”

Go ahead and judge me if you will. I know I would. But in the meantime I’m going to relish in these little moments of freedom when my soul and self care become a greater priority that someone else’s program or agenda. Hooray!

Sleepless night

July 31, 2007

It’s 2:22am right now, and I couldn’t sleep because I’ve been researching web stuff all night (meaning someday I will have an awesome blog/portfolio site…) but that’s not my point here.

My point is: it’s almost 2:30am in the morning, and I’m still awake. My visions of running at 7am (which I’ve done about 3 times the past year), and 8am start-time for work are fading fast in favor the sleep I know I’ll need in the morning.

I wish I could say this is not common. I wish I could write a touching post that I’m one of those people who goes to bed when they need to, puts a new roll of toilet paper out before the old one is used up (doh!), or gets all the reading done before class. Surprise! Most of the time, I just don’t.

Instead I run with the sparks that motivate me: Photography, design, gardening, movies, swimming, research … This can be a wonderful trait, and has gotten me through school, mission work, and now piecing my life together again. Yet it’s also as irritating as heck when I know I need to go to bed, but I can’t stop thinking about freaking’ web design. I don’t want to think about web design anymore: Which domain name I should use? Who should host it? Is it ok for designer to use a template? What if I modified it? When the Art Center fall classes start? Can I afford to take one? Can I convince the professors to let me skip the intro media classes? Ack! I want to go to bed!

People say they wish they were more creative … do they really mean it? I know most of us have sleepless nights at some-point, and creativity is not solely at fault. But heck, it’s sure keeping me up. Err…

Day 3

July 15, 2007

Cups

Day Three
San Francisco (Chinatown pictured) and Oakland A’s game

While I don’t know if I’ve left my heart there, San Fran is still “the city” to me. We poked around Market Street, Union Square, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf before catching BART into Oakland to watch the A’s loose to Toronto Bluejays. For the record, it’s the first time they’ve lost when I’ve seen them play. Hmm…

Day 2

July 14, 2007

Jellyfish detail

Day Two
San Louis Obisbo and Pismo Beach, Highway 1 and Big Sur, Monterey Bay Aquarium (pictured) to Concord.

Day 1

July 13, 2007

Beach Silhouette

Day One
Pasadena, Santa Barbara (pictured), San Louis Obisbo.

I’m back in Pasadena from my wonderfully crazy road trip. Ellen and I were all over the state, and even in Nevada, Arizona and Utah for a bit. In an effort to extend the trip (and share the plethora of photos) I’ll be uploading photos by day on flickr, and highlighting one of the better ones here.

Last Saturday started it all as Ellen and I loaded up the car, and headed out of town. We met up with my roommate and another friend in Santa Barbara for a day at the beach and dinner downtown on State Street. I don’t think I’ve had so much fun in the sea and laughed so hard in a long time.

No breather

June 26, 2007

If you’ve been around me at all in the past week, you might have picked up from the trail of kleenex that I’ve been a bit under the weather. But thankfully I’ve been feeling better and decided to hit the pool as an official act of being on the mend.

After 45 minutes, I figured I put in a good show and was about to get out when coach Kenny (I swim with a masters group) called all the swimmers to the wall for what I thought was typical Monday drills. Instead of climbing out just then infront of everyone, I tried to be sneaky and wait till after the drill, but little did I know, I was hardly avoiding attention …

Kenny: “Someone pick a number between 1 and 60”
Other swimmer: “4”
Kenny: “Who’s closest in age to 4? Anyone 20? 22? 24? 25?
I mumble: “I’m 25…”
Swimmer in my lane: “OVER HERE! SHE’S 25”
Kenny: Ah yes! You’re [to me] going to be swimming a no breather for us, one length of the pool. We will be cheering you on. Think you can do that?

I manage to nod as the entire pool looks over at me.

No breather is just that, swimming from one side of the pool to the other with no breaths. I’ve done it several times (though sometimes it can take a few tries), yet I’ve never done it first day back after a week out sick and with 50 other (much faster) swimmers watching me.

Having a little bit of pressure and an audience can do amazing things: it was probably the easiest no breather I’ve ever swam. When I got to the other side and came up for air, I heard the group cheering me on and put my arm in the air in triumph. Gotta love it when community gets an introvert out of her shell.

Retaining faith

June 23, 2007

“Teach us, O God not to torture ourselves, not to make martyrs of ourselves through stifling reflection; but rather teach us to breathe deeply in faith, through Jesus, our Lord.” -Soren Kierkegaard

This quote hit me today and helped bring me back to some semblance of center. Studying and thinking about God, faith and culture can leave me dry, agitated and anxious. I have no answers.

Yet I have teachable lungs. I’m swimming up from the depths of books and my thoughts bursting for fresh air. Each day, I’m bursting. My soul suffocates without this faith, this freedom, this love of Jesus.

Summer is upon us!

June 13, 2007

Finals are over! But now my victory lap (err…time on the couch and at the beach ) is over, I’ve hit the ground running again. Summer hardly means slowing down …

Jenn

found type

chair highlights

New Camera!
I ate my lunch today on the balcony outside my apartment waiting for the UPS man. My new Canon 30D was coming, and if I didn’t sign for it, they weren’t going to leave it. My roommate was asking what the chances were he’d actually come while I was standing there. “Pretty good, I think.” My instinct was on and within 5 minutes the UPS man came around the corner. I was doing something between dancing and jumping, which made him smile, “Kristin?” he asked. Oh yes!

I took it out for test shots today, and hoped I haven’t traumatized my friends by trying out the multiple shots-per-second feature on them. More pics are here.

CIVA conference
The impetus for the above purchase, I’ll be flying to Philadelphia and taking the train to Harrisburg, PA on Thursday for the biennial Christians in the Visual Arts conference. The theme this time is “Transformed Spaces” and there’s an architecture/design track that caught my eye. I’m pretty excited to hang out with other artists and designers with a faith perspective. I’ll no doubt be blogging on it and taking tons of pictures. I’ll try to edit for your benefit.

Miners Club
This is the film group I’ve been part of. We’re taking steps to wrap up the post-production and distribution of our shorts. Look for a You Tube link soon!

School
In addition, summer school will start the following Monday; I need to finalize my class load and start thinking about books.

Work
My part time work with Avant Ministries continues on with a range of interesting projects to keep me busy. I’m pretty amazed to think about what I’ve been able to get out over the past year: Urbana display, 32 page magazine, There is No Time book design (cover and inside), and now a complete revision on their print materials. Whew!

Summer vay-cay
I’m taking two weeks off from both school and working the beginning of July to travel California with Ellen, a British friend from my study abroad in Norwich. We’ll be hitting up the LA, the coast, SF, Chico, Sierras, Vegas and the Grand Canyon if all goes well. Apparently road trips make good stories (I just got out of a class comparing Luke and the American Road movie), so hopefully it’ll be a warm hearted comedy with positive personal growth… Later in September, my Dad and I area talking about a backpacking trip, this time on the Lost Coast in Northern California (NorCal!). Backpacking on sand at sea level? What will I do without the 10,000ft+ altitude, steam crossings and sheer rock drop offs I’ve loved to hate these past years on the John Muir Trail in the sierras?

Anyway, sorry for the laundry list – I’m a bit overwhelmed with it all, but very excited about life, and my new camera to capture more of it!