Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh, hello again

So I have completely neglected this poor blog all summer. It's been a very busy one and I haven't had the chance to travel outside of my fair city too much. Though that in itself has been a blessing; Chicago is a beautiful city that this summer has allowed me to fall in love with all over again. Today I went to Oak Street Beach, sat under a tree, and read a book. Then I ventured over to Corner Bakery for a salad and ended up jotting down four pages of my thoughts. It's been a great summer and as it winds down, here's a short recap and some thoughts about it.

Summer was kicked off with a bang in the form of my 21st birthday party which was one of destruction and good times all around. After terrible birthdays in the past in college, it was so wonderful to have so many good friends come out for it. It was the same weekend as Looptopia which was such a great experience for Rubbish as a whole. May and June were really all about starting up my internship at the Museum of Contemporary Art and my job at FFC. Both of them have been such great experiences as the internship winds down and the job only begins. Also, my 21st birthday was celebrated on the actual day, a Tuesday- so hard to go out really- but with a few close friends that I couldn't thank enough. The Chicago Diner sang to me about 4 different times and I don't know if I could feel more loved :)

June, Alexis and I moved to the new condo. The condo with the view enough to make you stop, catch your breath, and grab your chest. It's true, I've seen that reaction happen on many occasions. Though it looks like a canvas backdrop on a movie set, it's real and simply beautiful.

The summer was mainly a mix of going out to hipster parties/ shows and working. Bob stayed down in the apartment more times than Alexis did, as he scored an internship at the Lakeshore Theater with his old boss.

Besides that, I can't really say too much. In the front of relationships, it's summer so some people are far and away while some are ever-present. KB and I don't talk too much any more, though he requested that we still be friends. The Joe effect, I suppose. There have been "suitors", there have been dates, there have been butterflies. The rest is not for the world to know.

I guess that's it. And now with some final thoughts:
As August nears, I can’t help but reflect back on my summer. Though I didn’t travel many places or live anywhere new, I did rediscover my beautiful city and myself.

Again, like last summer, I lived on my own, though this time with the company of a cat, and I was surrounded by good friends. Moving to a new home, having a new internship and a new job and still meeting new people, it felt like I was in a new city. Being freshly 21 also opened the doors to a whole new city experience.

I am more established and confident in myself, going out on the town and running into a whole slew of nightlife friends. Getting into afterparties for free, getting VIP passes and on the guest list because of the MCA, it’s a whole new exciting life that I love taking advantage of. I’m young and love to be social- why not!

I’ve also learned a lot about the realm of relationships. I’m young and love to be social, yes, and very, very carefree. I have my responsibilities and that’s good for me. As the Dandy Warhols put it, “just a casual, casual easy thing” is what I’m all about. The hard part is finding someone else who is all about that too. I’ve learned that many people read into things as they want to. (Que the honest best friend who will listen to your recap of last night and tell you what he really meant when he said that.) And many times that selective hearing leads to leading people on. In the last few months, in my opinion, I was “seeing some people” in their opinions, I was a girlfriend. As I straightened things out, I hurt them- but that’s what they get for assuming things, right?

While I let my thoughts take me to places near and far, a familiar song comes on in the restaurant. “June, July, and August said, ‘it’s probably hard to plan ahead.’’ And a whole new scroll of feelings pours in. One is déjà vu, sitting in this restaurant, having a lovely day on my own. It’s something out of a dream. But it’s also a reminder of sitting in another one of these chains in Denver, hearing another familiar song on the speakers there, making me feel at home.

This summer furthered some relationships and somewhat strained others. Tony and I sharing drunken talks and a hallucinogenic trip brought us so much closer. Andrea disapprovingly responding, though, with “funny how much we’ve all changed in the last four years.” Makes you think. Part of it saddens me to think about how young, naïve, and dewey-eyed we were. And how mature and hardened I am now. To think back on what that song used to mean to me is words different than what it does now.

But I have to stop and look at my life now: I have new friends and connections at work and the internship, I have stepped up a role in Rubbish, I have a fabulous new home, great friends surrounding me, and a new “casual, casual easy thing.”

To conclude, some pictures, as this is a photoblog.

The fabulous view from my condo- the entire skyline <3

The Chi Fam on my birthday party

Aaron, me, and Jenna on my actual 21st

Bob and me and a show

Sam and me on the 4th of July

A trip to Manhattan with my Mamaloo

Monday, July 7, 2008

In the bullet train from Tokyo to Los Angeles.

Myself, Ashley, Nikki, and Sofia in front of the big Buddha in Kamakura!

Shibuya, Tokyo.

I fail at blogging, at least this blog in particular. Livejournal and I have become close, again, though. I find myself not knowing what is appropriate to write in each blog, though.

Since I last spoke with you all, I have moved to Tokyo. It is wild. Although, I miss an Anglo-based country for the most part. I shouldn't be comparing, but I am only human... I enjoyed living in London last year more than living here. It is ironic because I never wanted to live in London, only in Tokyo. My mother's pressures for me to become "refined and cultured", or to add to it, is what brought me there. Of course, mother knew best. I fell in love with that city at seven and never forgot it. Neither did she. What seven year old acts the way I did about a European capital?


Purikura is intense!


My Japanese is horrible which should surprise no one. Trash cans do not exist here and oftentimes soap in bathrooms. Japanese style toilets are, honestly, just plain stupid. Japanese style houses, though, are quaint. It is a far cry from what I would consider comfortable, but the differences are what makes it interesting and enjoyable. On a cheap note, I am a lard in this country. Literally, anything beyond a size six is fat here. I am, alas, a 8/10. So, clothing shopping has been minimal, but damn do I have some fabulous accessories and new cute toys.

The girls, Mike Shallow, and myself went to one of the top ten dance clubs in the world one weekend. It's called Womb. Apparently, it has the second best sound system in a club in the world and I would believe it. 4 floors, three or four bars, several DJ areas... best light show I had ever seen. You didn't even need drugs, hah.

To occupy myself and further my dorky enjoyment, I've taken to looking for all the vegan restaurants and cafe's that I can find. I believe I have a vegan nose. So far, I have found several restaurants on my lonesome. I've been to 4 places and one bakery so far. Found two all natural, organic grocery stores too. My inner vegan is giddy at the chance of new experiences and knowing I will not run into fish broth on total accident. My birthday cake below was all vegan. Tasted like banana bread, mmm.

Host mother, sister, and I.

In host mother's kimono.

What else is different? Tattoos are taboo. Talking on your cell phone on the train is frowned upon. I feel like McDonald's is a bigger deal here than in America. Tamago terriyaki burger, anyone? Starbucks is around a lot. I'm getting my expensive java fix. Cigarette vending machines... booze vending machines. A certain type of drink called a, "chu-hi". Cheap, yet delicious in some flavors (go with mango or apple!).
Cycling counter-culture is huge here. I have seen so many hipster bikers. Ahhh... I love it. Only seen a couple Chrome bags so far, though. ;]
The thing I find of interest most to me is not the place itself, more my reaction. I've changed in the past year. That is all I can put on it. I am not at all who I was a year ago and this little dream I had and am now living... means less to me than it probably ever did. I am grateful, do not get me wrong. Incredible experience and even more beautiful, amazing people I have met here... but for what I need inside my heart and soul. It isn't there anymore. Somewhere... I lost it. It was replaced, I suppose, with some other dreams and over zealous desires to achieve other, more pressing things. I find myself more "homesick" here than in any of the other places around the world I have lived. It is no different than any one of those places, yet my priorities have changed and that is why I feel this way. The mere fact that I am physically here must show that I was to belong here.
I should stop over thinking.

Shibuya crossing... busiest intersection in the world!

Me at Sensoji Shrine in Asakusa.

Tarina Tarintino and I!

Went to New York Bar at the Park Hyatt Tokyo for my 21st birthday.
(The bar from Lost In Translation.)

Only in Japan.

Maybe you'll get what you want this time around,

Friday, May 23, 2008


I've been listening to the Dropkicks way too much for my own good.

Anyways, I'm in Riga, Latvia as I type and there are many British folks here coming home from the European finals that took place in Moscow on Wednesday. Ahhh.. futbol.

I'm pretty bored and I can't wait to return to America. Let's see. I went to Tel Aviv, Israel for a couple days to see my sister and my new niece, Yahli, who is adorable. My mother and my sister argued a lot, there was crying and me mediating and I basically hated my existence while my brother-in-law looked on sympathetically. Same old, same old. Then, I was taken to the end of the world, literally, the Dead Sea. 6 days of nothing. I mean nothing but salty water. I read a 400 page book, sketched, wrote 16 post cards, and a 3 page letter (which was not just a letter, but rather kind of a scrapbook + letter) I never sent. Went to Riga for a day, spent the next 6 in Liepaja where my aunt and cousins live. The only form of technology I had in the time was the BBC World News as it was the only channel in English. I am amazingly knowledgeable on the big bad things of the world now (because the news is never positive). Did you know 1.5 million people die of TB every year and 6 million people are infected? Who knew consumption was still so, er, popular. So.. 3 movies as the theater plays them in English with Russian and Latvian subtitles, Indiana Jones, Speed Racer, What Happens in Vegas. Manchester United vs. Chelsea. iPod on the balcony. Giving up on Nietzsche after a chapter because my brain veto-ed after reading two 400 page books the week before. Latvian beer. My 15 and a half year old cousin who knows English but is embarrassed of her Russian accent so won't speak and only responds to me with, "Yes", "No", "I don't know.", or shrugs. Great conversation piece, let me tell you. To top it off, she has got herself a tiny fashion mullet and scenester clothing minus actually being affiliated with any sort of musical styling. Siggh.

My letter to the USA:

Dear Lady Liberty,

I could kiss you. Let's go to whatever state actually let's gay people get married (is it Mass? CT? Can't remember.) and get hitched.

Love and cupcakes from your devoted exiled countrywoman,

Sorry Jen --- Lady Liberty is my new wifey. Hah!

Riga, Latvia.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

And we're back.

Hello, hello again.

The 2007-2008 school year flew by at an incredible speed. To think of Alexis and me and this point last year compared to now is so strange. We've changed so much, our situations in life have changed, and we've experienced so many wonderful and not-so-wonderful things. But I can speak for both of us when I say that I couldn't be happier.

We are moving out of our lovely apartment at the end of May and will be movin' on up to a beautiful condo with a breathtaking view of our fair city. I will be staying there all summer, working on an internship at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Rubbish is taking over the world going to Cannes and being plastered all over the internet, and Alexis is globetrekking once again. This summer takes her to Israel, Latvia, Russia, Tokyo, Hawaii, and perhaps a jaunt over to California. With my free time, I will be traveling as well, though with more spontaneity and staying stateside.

So this little ditty has been started up again, mainly for Alexis and I to keep in touch with each other because, goodness, it's been 9 months since we've gone more than... a week? without seeing each other. :(

So here's to an incredible summer full of adventures, experiences, and moments to remember for a lifetime.

Monday, September 3, 2007

And in the end, what do we have to show?

So both Alexis and I traveled all summer. I spent a very crazy week in Salt Lake City full of my 30 year old coworkers buying me 3.2 beer, going to see the Bourne Ultimatum, making incredible contacts, getting job offers, meeting Chris Sharma, Daniel Woods, Alex Puccio, and Jason Kehl. I got screwed over when the afterparty was 21+ but had an amazing night outside of Park City at Canice's house for the GoLite Party. I miss my coworkers terribly now that I am back in Chicago. As we were packing up and leaving that night, I saw more stars than I ever have in my life. I asked Colin "Do they have this many stars in Colorado too?" He laughed and nodded. I said "I am sooo moving back here then." and he replied "We've been waiting all summer to hear you say that!" It was a very pleasant ending to a whirlwind week.

Since then, Alexis and I moved into our apartment in the heart of Chicago. We couldn't be in a better location and we're surrounded by friends and tons of things to do. Jason and I visit each other almost daily, Alexis and I walk to the beach to lay out and study. We make cocktails and watch Sex and the City regularly. We also named our place "The Copacabana" because we felt it was very fitting. Our first party here went pretty well. Less attendance than I would have liked but my vegan cupcakes were a hit.

Speaking of vegans, we go to the Chicago Diner quite regularly and are starting to know the waiters by name. They, however, forgot our names and refer to us simply as "the Ladies" but it has a ring to it so we don't complain.

School is school. Alexis and I both are business majors in denial. Business majors who never want to go into business. Go figure. But we suck it up and make plans to go shopping after class to get through the day. H&M has taken a chunk out of my budget but I look fab so oh well!

And such is life, I suppose. It's been wonderful, dear readers. Until next summer, perhaps. Au Revoir.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Sunday, August 5, 2007

we float take life as it comes

So today is my last day in Denver. Tomorrow I take off for Salt Lake City at 7:15 am. I've been too busy packing, sorting, going crazy to even stop and understand what's happening. This week as a whole has been insane. As the "oh my gosh I have a week left" feeling kept hitting me, I would realize all the things I had to do and freak out. I am still leaving without doing everything I wanted to, but I'll live without a few more hikes under my belt.

What has been going on this past week you ask? Well, Jay and I hung out a lot. I basically lived at the office getting everything ready for OR. Had more drama than anyone needs at any time of their life. I went to Sue's doc in an attempt to fix my spasming back, ended up with painkiller/ muscle relaxants. I worked a 10K/ triathalon for GoLite yesterday then went shopping then packed til 1am. All on 2 hours of sleep! And today I am packing like crazy, shipping home boxes, getting my haircut, doing last minute shopping, getting a last lunch with Sue and Wade, then living up my last night here with Jay. I'll also do the traditional going around taking pictures of everything I've recognized as home for the last two months.

As I left the office on Friday, it hit me that this is the last time (at least as an intern, we never know what the future holds) I'll walk through those doors, past that giant sign, stand face to face with the Flatirons, be familiar with Gunbarrel. After packing like crazy all day, my boss, Colin and I stopped and looked at each other, "this is it? we're really done?" we said to each other in complete disbelief. It was a surreal feeling. With that, I walked out of the office for the last time and got a little teary-eyed. That's when I realized that my summer here is over. Colorado is now a thing of my past.

This next week is going to be insane. I'm expecting to be completely overwhelmed and blown away. I have some appointments lined up with rock climbing companies. And some really kick ass parties. It'll be a good time, though pardon my MIA status until next Sunday. I won't have time to breathe, let alone sleep or be on the computer.

Coming back to Chicago will be bittersweet, but so welcome. I've waited to be back in the city for two and a half months. There are so many things I want to do, but as soon as I get home, I have to pack up and move to my apartment in the city. Let's not dwell on that now. I have plenty to get through before I get back to sweet home, Chicago.