Saturday, January 28, 2012

Of Baguettes and Art

For my first weekend back, it has been fairly relaxing so far.  Justine and I have early classes on Friday, and after we decided to go out for our first lunch back in the city.  We went to this little restaurant called Food Inc. Trattoria.  

Now, I've personally heard mixed reviews about this place.  My roommate Christine, our resident foodie, was not really impressed with their dinner.  I personally thought they had good food, but I went for lunch, so take away from this what you will.  Maybe it's more of a lunch place.

I got their Italian Panini, with mozarella, tomato, basil, olive oil and vinegar. It was amazing!

Justine got their pear and brie sandwich, which she loved and absolutely devoured.

All in all, it was a good meal.  We were in the neighborhood to visit a cute little yarn shop called Atelier Yarns.  I'm getting back into knitting, as I discovered over break that it was a good replacement for chewing my nails while watching TV.  Hopefully I will get enough of my scarf done to post pictures of soon!

And in keeping with my New Year's resolution to finish projects before starting new ones, I did a new large drawing last night.  It's a little bit different than anything I've ever done, inspired by some of the mythological pictures I'm studying in my Impressionism class.  I like it a lot, although I'm not sure how I feel about subjects like this for future work.

Happy Weekend, everyone.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Quiet Days Are Gone

I can hardly believe that break is finally over, but it's true.  The five weeks flew by so quickly!  I fly back to San Fran tomorrow (today?) and before I do I wanted to post some pictures from a few weeks ago.  They were all taken on a photo-exploration with my brother and dad, at the Upper Newport Bay.

The Upper Newport Bay Interpretive Center has many different trails that you can follow, though sometimes it's more fun to just forge your own.  The hills and weird gaps that required jumping over were not my favorite, however, because I've been having some knee troubles.  I've spent the last two weeks of break in physical therapy to treat my irritated and inflamed IT Band, so hopefully the hills and stairs of San Francisco will not be an issue.  Keep your fingers crossed!

The next time I post, it will be from my home in the rainy city.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just Keep Singing!

Adele's music is so captivating that I cannot get this song out of my head!  Here is my own, slightly different version of "Rolling in the Deep."  Enjoy, everyone.  Happy Monday.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book Review: One Day

One Day
David Nicholls
435 pages

The book was the first thing I read during break.  Between sitting in the airport for a couple of hours, the actual flight, and about a day at home, I had read the entire thing, cover to cover.  No, actually, it's probably more correct to say that I devoured it.

This is one of the best and most realistic love stories I have read in a while.  I don't personally have a lot of experience with love and relationships, but I know enough to realize that half of what we read and see in the media is a complete lie.  One Day is a completely beautiful portrait of what it means to fall in love with your best friend.  The writing flows so well that before I knew it I was falling in love with the characters myself.  By the end of the novel, I was exhausted and felt as though I had gone on the journey of their lives along with them.

The novel is about a young woman, Emma, and a young man, Dexter, who meet at university.  The novel then goes on to follow the intersecting points of their lives over a span of twenty years, on the anniversary of the day they met.  They go through hardships and triumphs together, as well as periods of hating to love each other.  Nicholls does not leave anything out or make it easy for his characters, but the ending leaves nothing wanting.

In short, One Day speaks directly to those of us who crave honesty about life, love, and relationships.  It is, by far, the best and most compelling novel I read in 2011.  Focus Features made a film out of it, which is now available on DVD.  I haven't seen it yet, but if I were to judge it by its cover, erm, trailer, then I'd say it looks like it does this extraordinary little piece of literature justice.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mind Your Manners, Please

Last week, I took a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood with my dad and my brother, Trevor.  Expecting to have a fun, stress free day at our favorite theme park, we were rather shocked by how rude the people there were.  We were constantly being shoved and yelled at, and I caught more than one person staring at me after I had already walked past.  The icing on the cake, however, was at lunch, when a man stood behind Trevor's chair for fifteen minutes watching us finish our meal, simply because he wanted our table.

Needless to say, we haven't been able to stop talking about our lunch experience that day.  Trevor, who's working on establishing himself on YouTube, has been talking about doing a "rant" video discussing just what about people's behavior annoys him.  I've decided that this is a rather good idea, so this will be a post discussing the three things people do that I just can't stand.  Of course, it will be a little less rant and a little more discussion.

1) Staring
I know I'm good looking and all that, but is it really necessary to stare at me?  In all seriousness, I think this is one of the rudest things that people do.  The freshmen at school do it all the time, and it makes everyone feel really uncomfortable.  Even if you think that you're flattering someone with your attention, trust me, that's not what it'll feel like.

My solution?  Just don't do it!  Try glancing instead; you'll see just as much without making the object of your attentions feel like their being stalked.  Actually, I would encourage glancing in a situation in which you're trying to catch someone's attention.  The idea that someone is interested and yet trying to be sneaky about it is actually very mysterious and intriguing.

2) Making You Wait for Them
Okay, I know that I am not always so good about this one, but that doesn't mean I can't be bothered by it.  This is probably the rudest thing in the entire world.  As my mom has told me, it is a total control thing, especially when you start getting ready to go somewhere ten minutes before you're supposed to leave.

So what can we do to avoid making this social faux pas?  Simple: if you set a time to meet someone, do everything in your power to make that time.  Don't squeeze in meetings or appointments if you don't think you'll be able to make it in time.  If you know you take a long time to get ready, give yourself a timeline and do your best to stick to it.  Better yet, set fake times for yourself so that you have a buffer in case you run over.  Trust me, it may just work.

3) Using Other's Things and Treating Them Poorly
Have you ever lent someone a shirt or a bag, only to have them return it to you damaged in some way or another?  I have, and it frustrates me to know end.  A shirt gets stretched out and never fits the same way again, or a bag gets weird stains on it that seem to never get entirely out.  In college, people borrow clothing items to wear to parties and return them with additions of alcohol stains and bodily functions.

There are a couple of ways we can deal with this.  If you are the borrower, it's really quite simple.  If you use other people's things, treat them the way you would treat your own possessions.  If you're the lender, maybe you should rethinking your lending policy.  Try talking to your friend about how they are treating your things, and if that doesn't work, that may be a sign that it's better not to lend them anything at all.  Keep in mind that you're lending policy should be the same for all of your friends.  If you're not letting one friend borrow things, stay consistent and don't let anyone else borrow things, either.

I hope this can help in some uncomfortable and awkward situations.  The best advice I can give, however, is to simply treat others the way you want to be treated!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012

How does any good Southern California resident ring in the new year?  By heading to the beach, of course!  I spent Sunday wandering around the beautiful little Balboa Island, making good use of the new camera I received for Christmas.

An impromptu family portrait.

We've been having the most gorgeous weather, with highs in the 70s for the next week or so.  It's a beautiful way of celebrating the new year.  My resolution is to finally, finally stop chewing my nails, and to finish more projects this year.  No starting new things until I've finished what I've already started!

Happy New Year, everyone.  What are your resolutions?