December 31, 2016

Postgrad Land 2016

Everyone agrees this is one of the worst years in recent history.  And I won't deny the truth behind that.  Many lives have been lost, more lives have been threatened; and we (read: the dominant group) have all watched in horror, tweeted in disdain, showered in neglect.

Despite the shitty world, 2016 was an important year for me personally.

Upon college graduation last May, I had no summer plans lined up.  Zero.  Nada.  Zilch.  Beyond moving to my new apartment in Minneapolis, I was unsure how I would spend my warmer days.  I toyed with the idea of working on campus (and laughed SO HARD) until I convinced myself that being home was the better option (and then talked myself out of that too).  Finally, I started applying to cool jobs and internships whilst spending quality time with Nicole.

Ultimately interning with the Walker Art Center's Moving Image department felt like a dream.  I sat across from the design department, researched films, and met fellow film buffs.

In September, I started my full-time service.  I love it.  The youth surprise me, challenge me, and encourage me.  I'm humbled to know such creative young people.

Amid the chaos of November's election, I am reminded of my wonderful and supportive communities.  On that note, my best friends from Mac are still my best friends today.  I cherish them with my whole soul.  They're doing awesome things, too.

I watched a ton of movies.  I watched more films by women.  I listened to music.  I attended concerts.  I drank beer, wine, and water.  I ate chocolate.  I danced.  I laughed.  I cried.  I screenshotted the shit out of magazines.  I edited/designed two zines of my own.  I finally got my driver's license (what a freaking saga).  I took pictures.  I had ridiculous conversations with strangers.

Mostly, I tried to understand the world better.

I still have plenty to continue to figure out in 2017.  But I'm fortunate that I don't have to go it alone.

December 18, 2016

Hurray for Crisper, Cooler Air

marian and sam

I love patterns; and so far I've noticed that I've posted here twice every six months during 2016.  In honor of this pattern, I thought I'd come through and write two entries for December.

This fall meant so much change.  On my amazing trip to Madison, WI this past August, I glimpsed various post-grad lives.  Seeing one friend working a quality assurance job confirmed that I was choosing a very different path.  Did I feel insecure about paying for a fairly expensive dinner out?  Yes, of course.  But I have to accept that some of my peers' earnings will double my yearly living allowance doing AmeriCorps.  I'm hoping they'll invest some of the money they're making into the arts, social services, and progressive non-profits.

While also in Madison, I admired the living spaces of friends.  I'm downright obsessed with pleasing aesthetics and good interior design.  Please, give me plants and prints and everything else the yuppie probably likes.  At times I get disgusted aspiring to have any kind of designer home or collect pieces of art because I'm not sure it reflects me and my values.  Is this what I'm turning into?


Scotland, I miss you.  I miss your hills, shops, and landscapes.  I miss your magic powers to connect me with awesome strangers turned lifelong friends.  I miss your autumnal colors.  I even miss your windy disposition.  I wonder if I miss you more in these colder months, especially.  I wonder what it would be like to be back now two years removed.  Will the terrace about the national gallery enchant me still?  Will I find no miracles once again?

This fall, I've tried really freaking hard to live in the now.  It's a state of being that feels chaotic, random, and messy but somehow so right.

June 05, 2016

Spring 2016

Let us relive my last semester of college through a random assortment of pictures shall we?

My beautiful "etc" circle in which we talked about life, our beliefs, struggles, triumphs, ETC.

The tree where Nicole and I solidified our friendship many moons ago, captured on a gorgeous yet cold spring day.

My pen pal wall.  *bows down*

A critical part of my capstone documentary.

Met up with the amazing Kait for brunch and a much needed trip to Mia.

Letters at Mac continued for its third semester.
As co-founder and leader, I sent envelopes to all the participants with some supplies to spark their crafting!

My baes enjoying free Surly beer.

I've seriously upped my quota of seeing local music live shows this past semester alone.
This particular night I saw Nicole's cousin, Alyse's punk powerhouse, Cadence and the Wolf, among others.

Hands down one of the best jobs out there and I was so sad to leave.
The SPNN Youth department is like a family to me.

A rare snapchat from yours truly.

omgggg, springfest 2k16 feat. THUNDERCAT 

The best human there is.  Also shoutout to water and pepper.  And Malcolm X.  And pinecones.

F*ck, campus can be beautiful sometimes.

The senior art show blew me away.
So grateful to have gotten to know so many talented artists and to have seen them and their work grow throughout the four years at Mac.

Say what you will about Minnesota but I kinda like the snow.

 This was set as my phone's lock screen for a solid few months.

Greatness talking to greatness.
The bald guy was my hilarious Creative Writing professor and author Matt Burgess.
He had just given the Last Lecture for the Class of 2016.
So perfect.

A good reminder as I head into murky postgrad territory.  Ahhhhh


June 04, 2016

A Little Shout Into the Void

So far 2016 has treated me very well.

Let's see... I struck out hard in the dating department.  I'm serious.  One date led to me having strep throat.  It wrecked my last ever spring break.  But then he also "lent" me his copy of Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance which coincidentally enough rekindled my love for reading and devouring books, all while somehow still finishing college and earning a 4.0 GPA.  So there's a silver lining there for sure.  In case you're interested, my other book recommendations include What She Saw... and The Opposite of Loneliness.

This cool breeze in my new apartment is spectacular.  My new apartment is pretty spectacular in general.  The linked video above gives you a ~tiny~ glimpse into my room which will become my beautiful shrine, I'm proclaiming right now.

Remember last summer when I tried to blog more on Wordpress?  Yeah.  That was gross.  Blogger  --okay, and Tumblr -- are where it's at.  Also, this is a public reminder for me to stop paying for Squarespace.  I'm not equipped to design my personal website yet.  Though making one will remain on my distant to-list.  I'll take care of it in the next five years.  Maybe.

I'm currently enjoying Maggie's May Mix as I revamp Nicole and I's music blog, FLAK.  Nicole and I are hoping to post on there more regularly and I could not be more excited.  You know, there are two things I can say that I definitively love in this world: Nicole and music.  That fact might be evident if you watch my senior capstone documentary, Developing.  The short film also sums up my absence from blogging pretty well.*

*A strange parallel to a post I wrote May 2014.  Aw, memories.


January 21, 2016

Where Am I Going, What Am I Doing

I think it's fitting that I'm writing this on my last first day of undergraduate classes ever. This day feels as ceremonious as others make it.  Friends are posting pictures and other friends are posting encouraging messages that we'll be ready for adulting come May. 

You see, though, despite choosing to be a student, there's still a world that I'm still very much a part of, which keeps churning on, ruggedly and often unjustly.  I think being overwhelmed by how much everyone else was producing caused me to stop blogging originally.  In regards to my wary attitude of monetized blogging, Liz of Delightfully Tacky wrote openly about her return to "authentic" blogging.  Good for her.  For me, I want to focus less on others and embrace what I want to do.  Although videomaking -- and daily videomaking at that -- fuels me in a profound way, I felt I was losing an aspect of my voice.  I want this blog to be a continued refinement of that voice as much as I can muster.  Believe me, I'll be giving myself as much grace and space as I'll need.  If that's long breaks without saying boo, so be it.

That said, I have been feeling a fair bit of external pressure to figure out what I am going to do in the coming years.  That's putting it mildly.  Unlike a few of my friends, I don't have a set path.  The alumni I was fortunate enough to visit in San Francisco this past week reassured me and my cohort of fellow seniors that our first jobs don't have to determine what we'll be doing for the rest of our lives.  Well, I would certainly hope not.  The trip overall was very informative.  I'll be better at synthesizing what I learned into thank you cards to send to the alums.  Meanwhile, though, Silicon Valley is a troubling place.  I recommend this article, and this article to articulate a few of the issues I see with the place as a whole.

On that note, I've been doing a ton of thinking about culture and media lately.  For Christmas, Nicole gifted me The Influencing Machine, a brilliant comic about the evolution of journalism/culture/media by Brooke Gladstone.  This discovery has sparked a ton of fascinating thoughts.  I've grown far more interested in net neutrality debates, media industrialization, and not to mention, the warfare surrounding the privatization of information that we are all complicit in, whether we realize it not.  Plenty of this is scary and depressing, but hopefully there's something to be gleaned from observing this paradigm.  Just this morning I woke up, read from bell hook's Feminism Is For Everybody, and proceeded to feel so radically alive.

Last spring, I took a risk.  I left my job at the Career Development Center for a chance to work with an amazing arts non-profit called Saint Paul Neighborhood Network. I've been in love with learning about community media efforts ever since.  As much as I enjoy Macalester, branching out into the larger metropolises grants me with a much greater appreciation for where I have chosen to call my home away from home.  With great consideration, I have continued to think about where I want to make an impact, and I feel attached to the Twin Cities, at least for another year.

And besides, this rad video from PBS's The Art Assignment makes me pleased to continue pursuing art in the Twin Cities.  Check out the shoutout to Macalester!!

(P.S. Their Case for Kanye video is pretty inspirational too.)

Cheers to radical everything: kindness, hospitality, art, communication, etc, albeit on my own terms.

January 02, 2016

Start Fresh

Oh hey there.

What is this?  I'm blogging again?  But didn't I say that blogging doesn't make me happy anymore?

Well, people change.

I found I missed this platform to write (albeit terribly) and, if I'm perfectly honest, it was becoming a real headache to build and maintain any other site with the intention of "branding myself."  Ugh.  Seriously.  My least favorite thing.  Don't worry, I've acknowledged that I'll still have to get a website for myself sooner rather than later.  And I say this while acknowledging it was hanging fire on my to-do list for a while in 2015.  Lowering expectations now.

Furthermore, I do not intend on making money off blogging.  Sure, plenty of people I admire and respect have made it work, and that's great!  But that's not for me.  Same for YouTube.  No one could pay me enough to monetize the experimental stuff I put there.

2015 was a fascinating year of self-growth with a whole lotta struggle mixed in there.  Scientists are still getting back to me about the estimate of tears I shed...probably a boat load.  And boy did it sink.

I'd like to think that I'm learning from my mistakes, though.  This YouTuber, Linda Barsi, seems to grapple with similar issues that I do and her three steps to happiness are an important reminder to me; it's all about asking for and accepting help.

Amidst the turmoil, I somehow did a few things right.  I spent the time and money to meet up with the Blogger Family for the first time in July.  That was...emotional.  It was weird to not be able to go home for my grandfather's funeral.  It also felt strange to be surrounded by people who I "knew," and yet friends who did not know about my struggle with depression and anxiety.  I didn't fully appreciate it at the time, but we're all pretty wicked cool and creative and damn good Instagrammers.   High fives to us.  And so I apologize.  I wish I would've been in a better mental state to enjoy your company all the more.   I'd still be down to host a meetup in the Twin Cities at some point.  Basically, we'll just hang out at Kaitlyn's and play with Rocky.  Wouldn't that be the dream?

Anyway, bottom line, I'm here and you can't get rid of me this time.

xx (I still desperately want to be British, okay?),