Tag Archives: life

Graduated!

22 May

photo (18)

 

What have I been up to over the past couple weeks? Oh I don’t know…just becoming a MASTER!

I can hardly believe that it was two years ago that I uprooted my stable LA life and moved half way across the US. It definitely wasn’t easy. Life advice: quitting a job, going through a sad break-up, moving and starting a new school program all at once WILL make you lose your mind for at least three months. You have been warned.

Celebrating my graduation with a short trip to Louisiana and then a weekend with my parents was fantastic, but now it’s time to look to the next steps. I can’t go into details at the moment as everything is still very much in the air, but being at a point in which your life could go in very unexpected ways is terrifying/exciting. Who knows where I’ll be in a month…but at least for the next couple weeks I know that there will be margaritas, swimming and time to read for fun. That sounds pretty nice.

 

Let them eat cake.

3 Apr

I have put off baking my first cake from scratch for years. And years. And years. It seemed scary! There’s this thing about cakes falling in the oven or being too dry… It just seemed easier to stick with my stand-bys of cookies and pies.

But then, in honor of a birthday, I bit the bullet and….tah dahhhhh

IMG_4570

 

Look at those sprinkles!

IMG_4567

 

And that dense, moist crumb!

IMG_4572I found out that there are really three keys to making a good cake – Choose a good recipe, make sure you actually have all the ingredients for the cake so you don’t have to go to the grocery store twice in an hour (ughhhh), and have a very willing crowd of people who will tell you all sorts of nice things while they eat it all.

So yeah. Making cakes. Not a nightmare. Who knew?

 

So, uh, this is awkward.

10 Mar

Hi.

Remember me? That girl who was super good about updating her blog every day for more than a year and then disappeared for about seven months? Uh, yeah, it’s been a while.

I needed that long break. Not only was last semester my busiest by far (taking an extra class AND having an extra job on top of your already busy schedule is not for wusses…or for people who actually value their sanity), but I also felt mentally drained. My creative juice felt sapped, and writing in this blog had turned into just one more thing on my to do list.

So I took a step back. A break that I thought would last just a couple weeks turned into a month, then the semester, and then a full seven months. Yikes. It feels embarrassing to come back after such a long absence, but I miss it! After gentle prodding from a few readers (and by a few readers, I mean mostly my mom, sister and sweet friend Becky), I decided to start writing again. I probably won’t be writing as much as I used to, but I will be stopping in at least a couple times a week.

Let me give you the quick overview of the few blog-worthy things that happened in the past few months:

Most importantly…I got a cat! I got Homer from the Austin Humane Society back in September, and since then he’s become my clingy, best cat friend. He likes road trips (we drove from Texas to California and back over winter break. He weirdly liked it.), hiding those little mouse toys somewhere in my apartment, sleeping on my head, and giving kisses. Yep, he’s kinda the best.

Oh, he also met Trixie over winter break. He thought she was pretty great…she agreed to tolerate his existence after three days of him bothering her. That’s all we could really ask for.

IMG_3331Baby Homer with his giant ears in his favorite sleeping spot…the bathroom sink.

IMG_4376A more recent photo of the best friend cat. Hanging out.

I also completed one of my big fitness goals and ran a half marathon. It took months of training, but I managed to run the thing in less than two and a half hours without walking, which was my overall goal. I don’t think I have a marathon in me, but completing a half felt pretty darn good, especially because I couldn’t even run two miles together two years ago.

I’d love to run another one, but I’m going to have to figure out how to do it so all my joints don’t feel like combusting that night.

smile medal head tiltThis is what I look like when I’m exhausted and sweaty, but pretty darn happy!

The other things that made me happy:

  • A long overdue NYC trip to see some friends in the fall
  • Some time in LA around Christmas
  • Ringing in the New Year in SF
  • Lots of family time both over the holidays and to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday
  • Visits here in Austin from a bunch of awesome friends
  • A baby blue Kitchenaid mixer as a gift from my mom for Christmas (OMG you guys)
  • Reading a ton of books.
  • My first pair of real cowgirl boots
  • Actually seeing all the best picture Oscar nominations for the first time ever. Her was my personal favorite
  • Seeing Kendrick Lamar live at ACL Fest (Best. Concert. EVER.)
  • Witnessing first hand the insanity that is a University of Texas home football game
  • Discovering the joy that is a fried puffy taco in San Antonio
  • Six (? I’ve honestly lost count) days with either delayed or cancelled school due to stupid amounts of ice
  • And the biggie…BEING TWO MONTHS AWAY FROM GRADUATION AND STARTING THE REST OF MY LIFE OMG. So, would anyone like to hire a librarian/archivist? I’m available…

So yeah. That’s what I’ve been up to. Anyone still out there? What is going on with you? What did I miss? Any internet gossip you want to share?

Hope you’ve all been well. It’s good to be back.

Lack of Inspiration.

27 Aug

A peaceful moment from my trip to New Orleans last week.

A peaceful moment from my trip to New Orleans last week.

I don’t know what it is lately. It could be the move back to Texas. It could be the oppressive heat that follows me everywhere, including my central air-less apartment. Maybe it’s the stress of putting together a new apartment, dealing with utility set-up (I STILL don’t have gas after living here for two weeks. Whyyyy.), or trying to scratch and claw my way into the classes I need this year.

Whatever the reason, I have been feeling 100% uninspired. Instead of reading and doing interesting things, I’ve been staring at ceiling fans and drinking ungodly amounts of diet soda. And, believe it or not, I don’t really feel like writing about that for this blog.

So what is one to do? I debated whether I should force myself to write something, anything, to keep it going, but then found that too tiring. I can’t say goodbye to this space forever, as I still do enjoy writing, and goodness knows I need a hobby that has nothing to do with school or work. And I’ve loved getting to know so many of you! This blog has brought so much good, that shutting it down feels too dramatic and sad.

I’m going to slow it down. I’m not sure how slow yet. I’m going to do what feels right, when it feels right. Hopefully this translates into a couple posts a week, but I’m going to have to feel that out. 

Thank you for your patience with me right now. Things are a bit goofy and blah right now, but give me a chance and I’ll do my best to bounce back.

Road Tripping…Again!

12 Aug

Texas Bingo
Time to head back to Texas! WHAT HOW DID THE SUMMER GO SO QUICKLY?!

I have no idea.

I’m actually driving all the way to New Orleans for an archivists conference. I mean, it totally makes senese to have an archivists conference in a massive party city. Archivists are crazy party animals! We just party differently than the rest of you…quietly and without meeting each other’s eyes (JK, archivists, JK).

So, it’s time once again to load up my phone with podcasts, stuff the back of the car with all my belongings and buy healthy snacks that I will undoubtedly ignore and eat gas station food instead.

To answer all the questions I’ve been asked about this over the past couple weeks:

Yes, I’m doing this alone. Really. No, I’m not worried. No, I won’t be lonely. It’s really not a big deal. Really.

Anyway, goodbye to cool, perfect weather, ridiculously golden evening light and beautiful mountains. Hello to non-stop heat and horribly dull, flat landscapes, but also hello to Texan accents, breakfast tacos and very pretty lakes. And, of course, hello to my insane school/work/not having much of a life schedule.

You guys ready for grad school year 2?! LET’S DO THIS!

July and August Currently…late!

5 Aug

Los Angeles County - 1928 Front and Back Cover Foldout)

I somehow managed to miss both July and August’s “Currently posts”! And I’m doing so much good stuff currently! Come on, Mandy. Get it together.

I’m currently…

Eating…

Some crazy good Korean food in KTown! After a spa day out with a friend, we decided to grab dinner at Ham Ji Park, as it had great Yelp reviews. Um. The stacks of piping hot pork ribs? Delicious. The hearty, flavorful neck bone and potato stew? Also delicious. I’m so glad we gave the place a shot!

I’m also getting in some Trader Joe’s faves before I head back to Austin. We are supposedly getting a Trader Joe’s in September though! Can’t wait!

Oh, and I’m eating all the cheap avocados while I can. Californians, we have it really good.

Listening to…

I just went to a really fun Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. They are the best sing-along band! All three of the songs they played at their NPR Tiny Desk Concert were highlights of the concert.

“San Francisco” by Foxygen has also been in pretty heavy rotation on my iPod. It’s perfect summer, hippie California music.

Watching…

Orange is the New Black! Ok. I know that everyone is into this show right now, but come on. It’s so good. All the characters are compelling, the dialogue is snappy, yet realistic, and Crazy Eyes is the human version of Trixie! I’m so glad to hear that they are already planning on releasing a season 2. Well done, Netflix.

Also, this summer I was able to see a screening of The Crash Reel, a documentary about snowboarder Kevin Pearce who suffered a traumatic brain injury. It really documents the culture of snowboarding, the dangers and appeal of extreme sports, and, above all, a family’s strength. I thought I’d have no interest in the subject matter, but I was riveted. I believe the movie has already shown on HBO, and it should be coming to regular movie theaters in December. Seek it out if you can.

Enjoying...

The LA weather before I have to go back to Austin weather. 70-80 degrees, low humidity and blue skies…I never fully appreciated it until I lived in Texas. How amazing is this place?! HOW DOES THIS EVEN EXIST?!?! I keep looking at my phone and seeing the 105 degree temperatures in Austin. God. Better enjoy this now.

Also, of course, seeing all my friends. It’s been a good, fun-filled summer. Hopefully now I can really hit the ground running as the school year takes off!

Thursday Confessions

1 Aug
Brilliant print by Tinyconfessions at Etsy  http://www.etsy.com/shop/tinyconfessions?ref=top_trail

Brilliant print by Tinyconfessions at Etsy
http://www.etsy.com/shop/tinyconfessions?ref=top_trail

 

We all have those things we love to do, but hate to admit, right? In the spirit of full-disclosure, here are a few of mine:

  • I love beauty vloggers. Sometimes, I get into a zone where I watch an hour of YouTube beauty vloggers talking about mascara or demonstrating how to properly apply foundation FOR HOURS. I don’t really learn anything from those videos, because I never change my own basic beauty routine, but I just can’t stop watching.
  • I wish it was socially acceptable to add just a tiny bit of water to hot chocolate mix and eat it as a sugary, disgusting yet delicious sludge. Desires like these may also be why I’m single. Meh.
  • I giggle every single time someone says “seamen” in the actual, sailor-y sense. You guys. It’s funny!
  • I judge you if your furniture has any sort of animal fur print on it. I’m sorry, I know I should look past it…but leopard print? On your chair? Really?!?

Feels good to get those things off my chest. Don’t pretend y’all are better than me. Spill!