Summer 2015 Favorites

Summer 2015 favorites

Favorite movie: Out of all the movies I saw this summer online, on DVD and in person, Ant Man would have to be my favorite. The cast made it good for me. I’m not usually a fan of action movies in general. But if it’s got hotties who are awesome actors like Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena and Bobby Cannavale, then I’ll watch it and love it. Side note: Ant Man was actually the only movie I saw in theaters. I enjoyed the others from home because I’m a homebody.

Favorite TV show: Okay, so I watch a lot of TV. I watch too much TV really. I’m trying to cut back and focus on living life. Some shows I watched this summer include East Los High, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Twin Peaks, The X-Files and Switched at Birth.I’m a sucker for teenage soap operas. It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, but I’d have to say I most enjoyed Switched at Birth. I like getting to know the characters and the different dynamics involved. In case you’re wondering, I’m pretty sure I’m a combination of Kathryn and Bay, but more Kathryn than Bay.

Favorite podcast: I listened to five episodes of The Lively Show in one day and I’m sure I’ll listen to more soon. In fact, I started this post last night and had written four in that last sentence, but now I’m up to five. I’m listening to one of the episodes right now. I enjoyed hearing entrepreneur Jess Lively talk with Gretchen Rubin, Caroline Rector, Becky Murphy, Joy Cho and Jessie Artigue.

Favorite music: I like all the music I’ve heard from Courtney Barnett so far. The music is pleasing and the lyrics are beautiful, relatable poetry. They’re even a little silly. My favorite song of hers is Pedestrian at Best.

This blog post was inspired by Diana of the our.city.lights blog who does similar posts, as well as The Lively Show and all the YouTubers who do monthly favorites.

Quick Trip to Encinitas

encinitas trip

Last weekend my family and I went to Encinitas (way south of Los Angeles, north of San Diego) for a good 24 hours. I really wish I had taken more pictures. No point in dwelling on the past though.

Here are some fun things we did that I wouldn’t mind doing again.

  • Lunch at Burger Lounge in Del Mar (Saturday)
  • Walked around the Del Mar shopping center
  • Lounging in the hotel pool and spa
  • Dinner at Encinitas Fish Shop
  • Walked around the San Diego Botanical Gardens
  • Lunch at Milton’s (Sunday)
  • Beach time in Oceanside on the way home

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Feels like home to me

Myself in May 2015

One time when I was about seven years old, I thought I would be silly and pretend I could read fortunes for my older sister and her friends. I don’t remember what I said to her friends, but I remember that I did my teenage sister’s fortune last and what I said made her upset.

I told her that when she grew up she would live in a trailer in a parking lot right on the beach and she would own a seashell shop. She felt hurt that I told her she would live in a trailer because that wouldn’t be successful. But I thought it sounded cool and fun. She would get to go to the beach every morning.

Now that I’m 24 years old and a grown up (I guess), I live in an apartment only a mile from the beach. It feels like a dream come true, even though I don’t actually go to the beach every morning and I still haven’t learned to surf.

My boyfriend and I have an ongoing joke that I’m a “beach babe” because I love the beach so much. I can’t say it without laughing because it’s just weird to call myself a babe. More than just living by the beach and living with my boyfriend, it feels so good to actually feel at home in my new home. It’s no longer just my boyfriend’s apartment that was only his for a year before I moved in, it’s mine now too.

Moving, transitions and change are a pain, at least for me. Moving involves not just moving stuff and where you live. As an adult, it includes changing your mailing address, your billing address and your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It involves some redecorating. It could involve starting a new job, or two in my case.

Santa Monica really feels like home now and it’s a good feeling. I recently had the chance to show my mom and older sister some of my favorite places around the city. I asked my sister what she wanted to see and she said something like “I don’t know, it’s your city.” It’s still funny to me that I’m living in a city that’s unfamiliar to them, although it’s still in Southern California. By the way, that’s a photo of Mom on the Santa Monica pier below.

Feels like home

The real moment I knew I felt at home was when I was talking to a close friend on the phone a few weeks ago and she asked me “When was the last time you went home.” I had to think about it for a few seconds because I was standing in the bedroom of my apartment at the time. I was home. But she meant when was the last time I was at my old (or other) home with my family. It had actually only been a few days. Just a few months before I had been thinking of my family’s home in Covina as my home and Santa Monica as my second home. It took some time after moving for the two to switch in my head.

I’m so excited to be a resident of the city of Santa Monica, explore what it has to offer and take part in it. I’ve been absent from this blog for too long, but i’ve got photos and videos coming just waiting to be uploaded. So, I’ll be back here again soon. Happy living.

Exploring Beverly Hills

Right before I wrote out the title for this, I put Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” music video on, but immediately got their song “Beverly Hills” in my head.

🎸 Where I come from isn’t all that great 🎸

🎶 My automobile is a piece of crap 🎶

🎸 My fashion sense is a little whack 🎸

 🎶 And my friends are just as screwy as me  🎶

I’d say that’s about accurate for myself. Except, I don’t actually have a car. But the gist of it is totally relatable!

So guys, the thing is, I went to Beverly Hills today for a job interview. I know for sure that it was in Beverly Hills. After it was over, I walked about a mile to a bus stop, taking photos on my new iPad along the way.

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An update on “24 before 24”

Boise_16

Last year, when I was young and overly ambitious, I decided I would make a list of 24 things to accomplish before I turned 24. You can read my thought process on that here.

It’s been a month since I turned 24, so I decided to go ahead and see how I did with this list, even though I was over it about 6 months in. Here goes:

1. Try sake. 
This was one of the first things I checked off.

2. Read 14 books.
Nope. Not even close.

3. Have a mentor.
Still working on that.

4. Redesign my blog. 
Yes, I did it! It’s time to update it again, actually.

5. Go on a double date. 
Yeah, and it was a pretty cool date.

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My new home

Santa Monica palm trees

Santa Monica pier

Santa Monica ferris wheel

Santa Monica pier 2

Hello, hello! It’s past midnight on a work night, but I just wanted to check in and share some photos from my new home.

I still find it hard to believe that I live within walking distance of the beach. This is seriously a childhood dream come true! Considering that, though, I should really go there more often. I should make it a goal to go to the pier, shore and/or walk along the sand at least once a week.

Santa Monica sure is pretty! It’s very inspiring.

P.S. Speaking of goals, I’m going to get a post up soon about how I did with my 24 before 24 list. As of Groundhogs Day, I’m 24 years old and getting older all the time. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life goes pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

2015 in review

sunset

I wasn’t going to write anything about this past year or the year ahead. For one, 2014 was not my best year. I hated it at times. I felt like I was in a rut. But that was then and this is now. Ha!

I don’t want to dwell on the past any more. So I haven’t had a job in a while. So it took me five years to finish college and I haven’t been offered a full-time job since graduating in June. So I still live at home.

Things haven’t been working out the way I dreamed they would. I wanted to get a dream job within three months of graduation, be engaged by this time and saving up money for things like furniture and a car. But that’s just life, I guess. Things don’t always work out the way you plan. You just have to keep moving forward.

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Here’s to you, dad

Playing cards with dad.JPG

Five years ago, I lost my dad after he had a massive stroke. I’ve been missing him and wanting to say something about it online. So, here’s my little tribute to my dad and me looking at the good times.

Here’s to you, dad:

You gave me a love for storytelling. I appreciate the written word and visual communication in the form of film and art because of you. You were also the best oral story teller I’ve ever known. History and your personal stories came to life from your breath.

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Between Lenses: Urban

Between Lenses

I’m going to be honest with you. When I first read that this month’s theme for the blog hop Between Lenses is urban, I thought of how the word urban has become code for black. I had recently watched the first few episodes of the show Black-ish on Hulu, in which the lead character Andre Johnson is promoted to Senior Vice President of the Urban Division. The ABC show depicts an upper middle class black family living in a primarily white neighborhood. Have you seen it? It’s not the best, but it’s not bad.

I don’t think I had heard of or thought about urban being a code for black until hearing Sasheer Zamata and Nicole Byer talk about how they have been instructed to sound “more urban” and “be blacker” in their auditions.

This has nothing to do with my picture. I just thought I would share that bit of word association. Why is urban code for black in some circles? I don’t know.

Besides that, the word urban made me think of cities, the actual definition of the word. I thought about taking a photo in my suburban city, which is part of Los Angeles County. I could take a picture of a packed parking lot or a bus stop. Those things stand out to me as the markers of a densely populated area. But then I remembered that I have taken pictures of Los Angeles itself so I may as well use one of those.

in progress

I took this photo sometime during my internship in Downtown Los Angeles, which I did from February to May. This is actually the street the company I worked for is on. It’s in the building across the street, so you can’t see it in the photo. But you can see some tall buildings, shorter buildings, construction and signs in multiple languages. All these things say urban to me.

Interestingly enough, my grandma’s friend’s mother worked at the suit shop on this street (far left in the photo) when my Grandma was young. That’s how old that building is. It’s still a suit shop with old advertisements painted on the windows. As it is the Fashion District, there are many fabric and sewing supply stores. I’m sure many of the buildings here are old and some of the other businesses may very well be also.

Out of view, but just down the alley (Santee alley, to be exact), are some fairly new restaurants. One of them, TBLA Catering & Cafe, is so good. If you ever happen to be in the Fashion District, do go. Just know that it’s (almost) impossible to find parking.

Cities, like any other area, are not perfect. They have a lot of problems and plenty of positives. They’re perpetually in progress. In some ways, they are a reflection of greater society. I would love to see more progress made on ending homelessness and violence, improving transportation, improving working conditions in many areas and reducing the cost of living in Los Angeles, as well as the surrounding area. It took me a while to write that out because I know I can’t just say it. I have to be part of the solution.

What I like about urban areas is that it’s easy for people to come together. Activism, networking groups and helpful organizations do exist outside of urban areas. That is true. It’s just that the more people you have in an area, the more likely you are to find people to connect with. That’s what I think any way. There are also great community events in urban and suburban areas that I love, such as concerts, food truck festivals, lectures and art exhibits.

I hope you enjoyed reading my ramble on the word urban, as well as my photo.

Thank you, Latrina and Tara for hosting the Between Lenses blog hop each month. I enjoy thinking about the themes and seeing other people’s takes on them.

P.S. See my past Between Lenses posts on Mornings and Movement. Next month’s theme will be reflection and the blog hop for it will start on December 12.