04 March 2010

Clueless and Shoeless

You know those short periods when there seems to be a reoccurring theme in your everyday life? Something so minutiae that you wander past it without realizing until it's repeated over and over coming to your realization of it's presence or significance? It happens to me all the time with different things but lately this reoccurring theme has been with shoes. I see it, hear it, and read about them everywhere now. It all started last week when I decided I'm simply just over shoes. I enjoy feeling the different temperatures and textures of the ground underneath the underrated little gems that allow me so many pleasures in life… Plus I don’t have to put them on anytime I want to go anywhere. I've just seen little importance in wearing them. Therefore lately I've only worn shoes when it's needed... I agree it's unacceptable to not wear shoes in certain settings, so that's why I say when it's needed... When I was younger I overheard someone say in Raley's that the shoes a person wears can tell a lot about them. So what if I'm not wearing shoes? Take that society! Anyways, back to my reoccurring themes. First, I haven't been wearing shoes lately. Then I start overhearing people talking about their new shoes. Also I was reading this book called Ishi for my Indians of California class. He was a wild Indian who was basically introduced into modern society… He adapted with everything except he refused to wear shoes. He says “walking on [the ground] all the time, I would wear shoes out, but my feet will never wear out”. I like this mentality. It’s so true. Anyways, I’m amazed to see how many comments I get on my lack of shoes. It really surprises people that I'm not wearing them which really surprises me. The other day on campus one of my friends said to me, "I think I would not wear shoes if more people did it". For some reason this kind of got to me because of how people are afraid of the element of surprise and individuality in society... We're always taught when we were younger to be yourself and to be an individual... But it really seems like everyone is trying to be an individual, which kind of renders the individuality concept invalid. Do as everyone else and be different. Society is so used to following trends and socially acceptable aspects of our culture, that we begin to fear and reject difference. We no longer strive for creativity, but for safety. We no longer strive to achieve, but to stay in the shadows and do as everyone else. We’re so afraid of putting ourselves out there because we fear rejection and want to be accepted at all costs, therefore losing sight of ourselves. We become what society wants us to be while still wanting to be an “individual”. For this very reason I feel the spectrum of individuality, creativity, and originality is diminishing. So take off your shoes before everyone has the same shoes.

19 February 2010

Sundance Kids.

The end was drawing near. I had just graduated high school and was trying to make the most of what would be my last Summer in Tahoe. This had been my home for the last 17 years, and as the days closed in behind me I felt myself feeling increasingly nervous yet excited for some major life changes. I was leaving the land of luscious white snow and brilliant blue waters to travel to the mystic land of sun and surf. For most people its the other way around.
Anyways, one Saturday afternoon David, Erik and I set out on a short drive to Spooner Lake to take pictures. We walked around aimlessly for hours snapping shots of time. I remember many details of what happened that day but I do remember it was a lot of fun. But then we got hungry so we went to super taco.
In more current news of life, I've been really busy with... life. I've decided school has a hidden objective to prevent you from sleeping. But school is fun. I'm learning in my Indians of California class about observation. They were able to conclude that the Earth rotated around the sun and could very accurately tell the day of the year just by sitting in the same spot every sunrise and sunset for a year or more. Just sit there and observe the position. I wish things were still like that. I was reading a philosophy article the other day that talked about how in today's society, more is less. We have so many choices and decisions and things to do and people to see that our mind is constantly concentrated on desires and the future that we can't fully enjoy the present. The quality of life is overshadowed by the quantity of "stuff". We're always thinking about the alternative. I found this interesting. I think we should all get up and observe the sunrise and sunset like the Native Americans. In fact I think we should just live like the Native Americans. They seemed so much more in tune with life and nature. And I would like to wear Indian jewelry, moccasins, and feathered headdresses all the time too.

05 February 2010

Dreams are for dancers.

You know those days where you just feel really creative and adventurous? I love those days. One day last Spring I had nothing to do and I had that feeling, so I grabbed my 40D and drove with no intended destination. Just drove streets I've never driven. That road looks cool, I'll drive down it. I did that all day and stopped to take pictures of things that looked worthy and interesting. I found this really fun whoopdidoo road, found some cool factory, and eventually found myself in Long Beach. Don't ask why but this is one of my favorite pictures I've taken. I was driving and I rolled down the window and blindly took this. It just looks simple and classic.

Anyways, today was another one of those days, except it was met with great failure. I woke up to rain pounding against my window and remembered my car was at Adam's house. So I waited for it to slow down and eventually walked over to his place. First stop was the art store to get marker paper for my class, and found out they didn't carry it anymore. Second stop was the bank to exchange euros, but found out they don't accept currency after 2. No big deal though. Next I went to Michaels to get art and craft supplies so I could take advantage of my creative energy to make necklaces and bracelets and drawings. After roaming for an hour I was just walking to the check out and... boom! Power outage. So I had them hold my stuff behind the counter. After that I tried going to a thrift store but they were closed. Surprisingly though I had a really good day.

Tall Tales.

So as legend has it in Ireland, a drunk Irishman came home and went into his neighbors door thinking it was his own and slept with his neighbors wife, again, thinking it was his own. His neighbor came in and saw him sleeping with his wife and shot him. So now the Irish paint their doors all different colors so there's no confusion and ultimately, no more dead drunk Irishman. So simple.

02 February 2010

Back in the groove

Spring semester of my junior year has officially started this week. After this I will only have 1 more year; 2 more semesters. Italy seems like a distant dream now, and I realize after starting this semester how much I miss it. The good friends, the good times, and the good memories. I'm not saying I don't have that at Chapman, because I definitely do... but Italy was different. Now I'm back, ready to have new adventures, meet new people, and make new memories... while or course still continuing relationships from Italy. Nonetheless, I'm excited to see where things go now that reality is kicking back in.

29 January 2010

Meant to be, like milk and tea

"I'm afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning." -Andy Warhol

26 January 2010

ciao means goodbye also

My 4 month Eurotown adventure has officially come to an end. I was excited to be back in my homeland of delicious Mexican food, friendly people, and a language I actually understood, however, after settling into my old American lifestyle once again, I began to realize how much I missed Italy. The weekend adventures to new places, the days and nights spent with good friends, and every memory associated with nearly every day that passed. Everyday was an adventure. I feel like I made the most of it though. Knowing the last weeks were closing in behind me, I took advantage of every opportunity to go to the places that I didn't get to see and doing the things I didn't get to do. And it ended up being the most surprising last couple weeks I could have imagined. Just comes to show that some of the best things come when you least expect them to.

Looking back on the whole experience, it seems like a lifetime worth of memories. Almost dreamlike. Each day that passes I wish I was back sipping on macchiattos, eating margarita pizza, and roaming the European lands with friends. It's hard to put into a short paragraph, even into words how amazing of an experience it was. I come back to America with a new world knowledge and a noggin filled with memories as small as watching Matt bargain in the market and as big as flying thousands of miles to see different countries. It was truly the experience of a lifetime that I'm so thankful I had the chance to have. Until next time Europe... Whenever that may be. I'll miss you for the time being.


More photos to come soon.

Who knew something so easy could be so difficult. Matt and I, as a last hurrah friday-day trip decided to go to the Ferrari museum in Modena, Italy. One would think that the Ferrari museum would be a big tourist attraction in such a ordinary Italian town right? Well... apparently that wasn't the case... at all. After a night of shenanigans, Matt and I woke up later because it would mean a cheaper train ticket. We went to the train station, purchasing our tickets, and began looking for the train. We couldn't find it. We went over to the information desk and asked where our train was only to find out that with 5 minutes till it departed, we purchased tickets for a completely different station. Oops. So Matt and I ran to a different train, barely making it on before it left and it took us to the station we were SUPPOSED to go to. We found our train and ran to it, once again, barely making it on. I don't think I've successfully made it onto a train without at the most 5 minutes before it departed. Go us. Eventually we made it to Modena and went to to information desk to find out where the museum was. Luckily we were able to purchase round trip bus tickets and received the most ambiguous directions ever. Go to second bus stop, get off at main station, get on second bus. Great. After riding the first bus for about an hour and a half, I went up to the driver and asked with my incredible Italian where the main station was. Where I was then yelled at... The bus driver didn't speak english either so I went back and sat down. Eventually we stopped and the bus driver motioned us to follow him and he walked us to the second bus we were supposed to be at. What a sweetheart. After eating some lunch and being made fun of by some Italian hipsters with their shiny puffy jackets and euro mullets. After another hour long bus ride we finally made it to the Ferrari museum, once again, with absolutely no help from the directions we received. We walked around the Ferrari museum for awhile seeing the whole line of formula 1 cars and their road cars, including the new 458 Italia. Ferrari's are like little pieces of art you can ride in. Once we saw all the cars we walked outside and searched for the Ferrari racetrack we heard cars going around at. We walked for awhile and found it, with three 458's racing around at. That would be so fun. It was starting to get dark so we decided to head back to Florence, stopping by the Ferrari store to get directions. Seeing as Modena is the main town and the Ferrari museum is probably their main attraction, I was surprised to find out that no one had any idea how to get back. We walked to the bus station going the opposite way we came and waited for about 45 minutes skeptical if we were at the right place. We ended up talking to this nice Italian guy who asked the bus driver if this was the right bus when it came. Cool! a nice Italian!


More photos to come soon.

Interlaken, Switzerland: probably one of the best trips I had during my eurotown adventure and for so many reasons. Since train and plane tickets were expensive so I decided to go through the tour group Florence for Fun. Thursday night the bus left from Florence and it was an 8 hour trip to the swiss lands. For the first time on one of the bus rides I actually fell asleep and around 3 in the morning I was awoken by head jolting braking and turning and the coldest toes I've had in awhile. I drearily looked outside the bus window to see mother nature giving the land little white flakes of joy. An hour later we arrived at our hostel and I went straight to bed not waking up until 10. After waking up and getting breakfast, Danny, Stefan and I decided we were going to go cliff swinging. We signed up and walked around the town until the bus came and took us up to the canyon. A 40 minute drive in a clutch-worn red van with a cute little lady driving. We got up to the canyon and after being strapped into the harnesses and listening to the deathly screams coming through the canyon of fellow jumpers we made the walk up to the jump area. After a very inconvenient detour, we made it, signed away our lives and strapped in one by one for the plunge. After watching everyone else go it was my turn. Strapped in, I could feel the cold darkening air against my cheeks as I looked down the 300 foot canyon, ironically with excitement and thrill rushing through me rather than fear. Without hesitation I ran and jumped, getting that all familiar rollercoaster rush in my stomach... except about 100 times more intense. Being in a free fall and not being able to breathe, I raced towards the ground as fast as a sack of potatoes would be falling if they were dropped from the same height. Thankfully the rope caught me, swinging me 10 meters from the snowy rocks below and through the canyon at an incredible speed. I swung back and forth until eventually I pulled myself into the side. Most fun experience of my life. That night we celebrated by going to dinner where we drank Swiss beer and I got to try Ostrich. Nom. After dinner I went back to the hostel to get some rest for skiing the next day.

I woke up at 7 the next morning so I could grab the earliest bus and head up to the mountain. With my rental equipment in hand and a belly full of cereal and a strange assortment Swiss foods I walked to the bus station with Stefan, which would take us to the train, which would take us to the other train, which would eventually take us to the mountain. We surprisingly didn't mess up and made every train, seeing some amazing views going through the towns. We took a warm up run, getting used to this new thing called sharp ski edges. Stefan and I met up with this snowboarder from San Diego on the chair and we rode around with him and eventually found the main hill with untracked luscious white fluffy powder that I wanted to bathe myself in. It was amazing. Fresh, light, untracked powder in the Swiss alps all morning. Does it get any better than that? Actually, surprisingly it did when Kevin and I stopped for lunch at the little shack, where we met up with some of his friends. Right place at the right time I suppose. Funny how life works.. Anyways, after receiving remarks about my mysterious mustache and how untrustworthy I am, I separated from Kevin to explore the mountain some more, with that moment on my mind. I ended up taking a wrong turn somewhere and found myself on the complete other side of the mountain by myself with absolutely no idea how to get back to where I needed to be. And apparently the Swiss don't believe in maps. I didn't really care though cause the views from the mountain were incredible. Just as long as I got back to the locker before 4 so I could get my shoes. I skied around aimlessly for about an hour or more and eventually found myself back in familiar territory to see a familiar face. Exactly what I was hoping for, for the last 2 hours. After talking for a bit I rode the chair up to finish the last few runs of the day, and stopping on the last run to admire the sun which was setting beyond the Swiss alps. I wish I had my camera. Next time. When we finished we took the train back to town and went out to paint the town red and help someone with their search for snickers.
The next day I woke up early to walk around town and take pictures, eventually finding myself in the christmas market and all the shops. After seeing my Swiss alps cutie in one of the shops, I walked up and into the mountains and found a hiking trail to I have no idea where, but I went up it anyways. I almost made it to the top until I heard weird animal noises and saw a bush rustling. So I turned around and walked back to the bus and went back to Florence, where I would make the best of the next 2 weeks.