20 Things the Summer Taught Me 2015


This summer has been all about racking up frequent flyer miles, living out of suitcases and tackling giants by the name of Universal and Disney World in the relentless Florida one-two punch of heat and humidity. Above all, these last couple of months have emphasized the sacrifices we make and the lengths we go to spend time with people we like more than the general population in extraordinary (and sometimes extraordinarily expensive) places.

A few things this summer has taught me:

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Music Monday: Necessary Airplane Song

No travel bug escape is complete without music. I don’t want anything else in my ear as I wait on the runway, feeling the plane come to life beneath and around me while discretely staking a claim on the armrest. Sorry, Person Next to Me, it’s going to be a long flight! And White Lies is along for the ride! The lyrics suit the experience almost too well, it’s a bit too obvious, but the way the song builds in tandem with a departing plane and mirrors that exhilaration has been one of my staples of summer.

Places I Love: Musée Mécanique


The foundation for my love of film is a deep appreciation of where it all began. For instance, the early inventions that led to the birth of cinema were peepshow devices. Tools of entertainment mainly used to give the people of the late 1800s a little thrill are ultimately responsible for one of the greatest industries in the world, an art and pastime that’s become apart of daily life for many. I’ve been lucky enough to get up close and personal with a couple of these authentic optical toys at a coin operated arcade on San Francisco’s infamous Pier 45.

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Oh God, I Think I Miss Portland


It’s kind of a funny story how I ended up spending four years in a city I’ve never been to before moving into the worst and cheapest student housing option available. (It was quite literally a crack den.) Basically, my first choice school slapped me with a rejection letter so the university that offered me the most money in scholarships won the battle for my acceptance. Okay, so maybe that wasn’t a funny story, not at all. I probably would have described it as tragic in the moment, but it was a practical decision that led me to this city with a reputation for being weird and Portland, Oregon, is weird, but in the best way.

On more than one occasion I’ve admitted to loving Portland in real, verbal conversations. Portland is like that weird 75% vegan friend, always hopped up on coffee (among other things), who you aren’t sure about in the beginning, but slowly you come to learn that they’re dependable even if they aren’t 100% trustworthy. That friend who’s moody most days and unpredictable, with fantastic taste in music and access to independent cinema, that teaches you about art and life.

We always say that people and circumstances help shape who we become, often forgetting that our environment is just as great of a factor. I’m different from who I was five years ago and living in Portland is a big part of that.

I miss you, Portland. God help me, I do.

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Summer 2014: From 30,000 Feet Up


My first time on an airplane was when I was a little more than a year old. I can’t confirm or deny, but I strongly suspect I was that baby on that five-hour flight from LAX to Honolulu International who made someone two rows back turn up the volume on their Discman and swear to never have kids. I’ve flown nearly every year since and that’s how my indifference toward flight and my travel addiction took root.

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Q&A: Best of the Best

What was your best birthday?


The day I turned fourteen is the one that comes to mind. My cousins and I spent the entire day at Disneyland and at the end of the night, while riding the tram back to the parking lot everyone sang happy birthday to me, including the Disney cast member over the tram speaker system and a good portion of the passengers. My eighteenth birthday was a milestone and my twenty-first was a fun blur, but my fourteenth is the one that stands out most in my memory.  I was saying goodbye to adolescence and teetering on the fringe of  young adulthood and I got to spend the day with people I love in the happiest place on earth.

What was your best vacation?

Summer 2009. Instead of having a big, extravagant graduation party after high school I wanted to go to Europe and I did. I saw Van Gogh’s Sunflowers in the National Museum in London and stood at the top of the Eiffel Tower overlooking Paris.

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 I got lost in the Louvre (and wasn’t very impressed with the Mona Lisa, if we’re being honest.)
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I was charmed by the streets of Barcelona, the incredible architecture, the gorgeous outdoor marketplaces and the colorful people, who were especially so when we accidentally found ourselves amidst a gay pride parade. I tried different types of food for the first time, including gelato, macarons, quiche and the one that left the longest lasting impression on me, Orangina.
I hopped from place to place around Italy. Posed alongside the Leaning Tower of Pisa, ate the most amazing pizza just down the street from the Trevi Fountain and even watched the Pope ride in a little car and wave to adoring worshipers on a jumbo screen.
I saw the Colosseum, Amphitheatre in Rome. Well, actually, we just took pictures outside because you had to pay to take a tour inside, but I did see it with my own two eyes!
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I took in some breathtaking sights, standing atop cliffs and on little docks, looking out at the gorgeous expense of deep blue ocean.
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I closed out the high school chapters of my life by leaving my life entirely and going out and seeing the world. Not many people have the opportunity to do so in their entire lives and I know how fortunate I am to have that experience.

What is the best movie(quality) you’ve seen?

This is the worst question. Asking a film nerd with a degree as proof of her film nerdiness to choose the best quality movie I’ve ever seen is pure torture. There are just so many amazing movies I’ve seen and so many amazing movies I haven’t seen and how does one choose exactly? Not to mention my ability to find a high point in any movie regardless of how high or low the quality. My first reaction to this question is to laugh nervously, say I’ll get back to you and then in a few months you’ll get my answer in the form of an eight-page analytical essay.
That being said, Singin’ in the Rain is perfect to me. Conceptually, it depicts Hollywood’s transition between silent films and the discovery of synchronized sound, something I can nerd out about for days. I’m a sucker for musicals and musical numbers and the one in Singin’ in the Rain are classics for a reason. Factor in the amazing cast and it’s just quality, feelgood entertainment.
If you’re looking for something more modern, I’m really into the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now. This might be just because I recently saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier and loved it. I wouldn’t say the movie Screen shot 2014-04-12 at 11.21.37 PMwas perfect or that any of the Marvel movies are, but they push quality product. I’m a fan of Marvel’s ability to balance actor, drama and humor in a single film and I like that I can watch the fight scenes and heavy CGI scenes without feeling nauseous from the camera movement. With the ridiculous prices of movie theater tickets and snacks, I can be choosy about what I pay to see, but I can never say no to a Marvel superhero movie.

What is the best TV show ending of all time?

No contest with this one. Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad!
If you didn’t know, I like Breaking Bad. It’s as close to a perfectly crafted television show as I have ever seen. I read the pilot over and over again when I first learned to write for television and I absolutely adored the finale. It felt very necessary and satisfying. Walter White spends the last episode of the series tying up loose ends and then (SPOILER) he dies a slow death where he was most content and happiest — back in the lab one last time, reflecting on the love and pride he has for his signature blue product. Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” plays in those final moments, featuring lyrics such as I guess I got what I deserved and I would show the special love I have for you, my baby blue. Such a thoughtful way to cap off an intelligent, captivating series.
And that ends this week’s dose of me oversharing. Until next week!

Lazy Sunday Meet Nostalgia

Time is unforgiving. It goes by, never slows, never waits for anyone or anything. Time forces us to pick up and move, to adapt and change so we evolve along with it. Life is an inevitable process better embraced than fought. Sometimes before we can even begin to look forward, it’s a comfort to look back.

I don’t know where I’m going or what’s going to happen in the future. We can only guess about what’s in front of us, but we can always look back on where we’ve been. I remember when my biggest dream was to leave home, literally escape the island. I always knew there was so much more out there just waiting to be found and somehow, I’ve gotten lost in it all. Lost in the very best sense of the word. Amazed. Consumed. And I love every second of living.

Oh, lazy Sundays. Hello, Nostalgia.


 There are few things I hate more than riding airplanes. The near-suffocating feeling of being confined for an extended period of time, the odd smells that linger, every time the stranger next to me shifts and their arm grazes mine. The hours to kill. The finality of leaving. And the people I’m leaving behind.

Portland, OR 

The view out the window of my dorm freshman year. Prime real estate.

George, WA

>> Sasquatch 2011


AKA “Mecca of the Hipsters”

The Head and the Heart
“Rivers and roads, rivers and roads, rivers ’til I reach you…”

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Wonder Woman. Unafraid to dance on her own.

Early mornings and a long way from home.

Sedona, AZ // Grand Canyon – Summer 2011

One of the best things about Sedona, other than catching some sun by a little creek with a good book, was all the surrounding rock formations that serve as a playground for the imagination. It’s always so interesting how we automatically assign meaning and interpretations to things. When I first saw the “Modonna and Child” I honestly thought “singing dinosaur hand puppet.”

Northern California 

San Francisco, CA

>> City of Cool Bridges, Buildings & Street Art

The clouds over SF move by so quickly. I’m sure there’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere…

I might not know what my exact future looks like, but if it resembles my past in the slightest, it can’t be all that horrible. If being lost in what the world has to offer can be this beautiful, why would anyone want to be found?

Thoughts? Comment, like or tweet me.