Happy 4th of July! Or as we’ve been saying ’round these parts, Happy ‘Merica Day!
The boys BBQed quite the feast this afternoon. Sausage, chicken, corn, veggie kabobs…so much food. Isn’t it great to have another excuse to pack it in? I’ve been eating non-stop since 4pm. Feeling full and mostly wonderful. Very burpy but in a good way, ya know?
Later we hiked up the hill to watch the fireworks, joining a butt-load of Berkeley-ans by the swing at “the top of the world.” Now that I’ve been up there I have to come back to try it out. It swings out over the side of the hill! Can’t miss that!
From our vantage point we were able to see all of the bay and the fireworks from Alameda, SF, Marin, and, of course, Berkeley. It was really beautiful. I think I’m more in love with this place than I’ve ever been.
Here’s something I’m learning slowly: when a thing you truly enjoy doing becomes a job, you stop enjoying it as much. Maybe that’s not true for all folks, but I think it might be true for me. Here are some examples:
- Knitting. I’ve signed on to knit two of my family members scarves and while I so enjoy the process, the needles don’t call for me to pick them up like they used to. (I am literally LOLing at that last sentence and imagining these sweet little knitting needles calling me up on the teeniest of phones.) It doesn’t help that I feel pre-arthritic in both hands. I’m doing these exercises to help with the pain. Yes, stress injuries from knitting do happen. I am the tragic proof.
- Pinning. Okay, this is by no means a job (oh that I wish it were). But it is something I haven’t been doing much of lately. With pinning, the inactivity came on slowly. When I first joined last year, I’d pin every day, maybe even multiple times a day. I bordered on the fanatic, as my pinners do. Then I got the app on my smartphone and that took things to a whole new level. I’d wake up and pin, pin during the day, and then pin a bit more at night. Okay, I’ll say it: I was addicted. I would be the perfect candidate for an “I wish I was pinning” bumper sticker. And then, all of a sudden I stopped. Now I’ll go for days without pinning! (I know this might sound ridiculous but such is the state of my life, folks.) What an achievement! And it’s not because I’m trying to hold myself back, either. I’m not weening myself from the pin-drug. No, I’m just not motivated to do it anymore. Okay, that’s partially a lie because I still pin (and when I do, lordy lordy, your feed will blow up with my name), just not with the addiction-type frequency of earlier moons.
- Being alone. I work from home, or the library, but mostly from home. And that means I’m by myself a lot. Like all day. Every work day. So when my housemates or the boyfriend come home I pounce on them like the starved for human-attention being that I am. If someone’s in the house with me, there’s a good chance I’m as physically close that person as I can possibly be. Yes, it’s a little creepy. I recognize that. Before I worked from home, spending time alone was a bit of a treat. I worked with other people, I lived with other people, and so I cherished those little moments spent alone, whether I be zoning out or watching TV, or zoning out while watching TV. It’s not like I don’t ever choose to be alone when I have the option to be around people; I am a wee bit introverted (or maybe it’s just occasional shyness? hrmm) after all. But because I spend so much time by myself, I find my yearning to be near others, even if I’m not talking to them, stronger than ever. Basically, I’m saying that working alone is to blame for my not wanting to be alone.
- Eating eggs. Okay, this one’s a bit out there but hear me out. I like eggs, always have always will. But ever since I started life in the real working post-college world two years ago, I have not been much of an egg fan. I think this is because I associate egg sandwiches (I’m talking fried egg on bread here, not egg salad (which requires too much effort, hello)) with having a job and being too poor to buy sandwich meat (and too lazy after a long day of work to make anything more gourmet). I would also eat fried eggs on spagetti. Basically, if I was in need of protein, I’d put an egg on it (preferably poached). And now I’m sick of them. Every time Eric says, excitedly, that he’s going to make an egg sandwich (fried egg), my gag reflex triggers. I just. can’t. eat. them anymore.
- Blogging. Like pinning, blogging is by no means my job. That said, sometimes I treat it as such. A few months back I attended a couple online classes on blogging and branding, etc. and got really excited about blogging every week and doing giveaways and meeting up with other bloggers and finding more readers, yadda yadda yadda. And while at first I was stoked on the whole thing (hello three posts a week and update emails!), I quickly tired of it. I want blogging to be something I do when I’ve found something cool to share. Okay, and while arguably I find something cool every day and want to share it…I just don’t have the time! I work 4o hrs a week, I watch a lot of TV post-5pm to cope, and I like to spend my weekend lounging around the house or frolicking in the park (mostly the former).
All this is to say that I want to approach these things that I’ve so enjoyed in my life (eggs being a stretch here) from a new perspective. Not as work, but as something I want to give to the world and to myself. Something fun and creative (again, eggs are a stretch) that inspires and motivates me. This might mean frequent absences on the blog, but should result in higher quality posts. Let’s hope anyway!
Have things you’ve loved doing turned into chores too? Please share and tell me I’m not alone (pun not intended)!
Last week, Eric and I headed out to Daly City to hang with our pals that live right on the bluffs. Though we spent the morning indoors making (and eating) crepes and truffles, we were called to the backyard where hang gliders dotted the sky. It was a surreal moment, sitting right on the cliff edge and watching these people fly past only 100 feet away. Every once in awhile we’d hear a big “Whoop!” as a glider rose higher in the air. The thrill of flying was infectious! Of course, not infectious enough that I have any plans on gliding myself. No no, I’d rather partake in the sport of watching these crazy souls soar.
Today I attended my first Alt Channel class of the new year! The event was hosted by Flipboard, a social magazine app that was founded just a few miles south of here, and focused on how to use the app and the interface benefits for bloggers. Despite getting off to a patchy start (sound quality can be rough on the nets), the class was informative and exciting! Care to transform your favorite social media sites into a gorgeous magazine that you can flip through? Don’t mind if I do! I immediately downloaded the app and added all of my favorite content. After seeing what a beautiful job it did with the blogs I follow, I tested my own out.
Well done, folks. You’ve made my blog (and by extension myself) feel fancy!
Do you use Flipboard? And, this is the more important question here, does it make you feel fancy?
This December I was mad productive and knitted my first ever sweater! With pockets! Though I’ve worked with needles from a young age (thank you Waldorf and dear Ms. Maloney!), I had never tackled anything more complicated than a cable hat and a lace shawl. But with the weather turning stormy and the epic amounts of unproductive TV watching that were bound to occur in my future, I decided to seize the day. I purchased seven skeins of beautiful wool yarn* and found this simple and gorgeous pattern on Ravelry (hi, Agnes). The time was ripe for success! With the aid of trusty YouTube and a strong work ethic, I conquered the hell out of this project, finishing in about one week! If you’re a knitter, whether a newbie or a pro, I’d recommend this raglan beauty. It’s simple…and has pockets! What’s not to love?!
For those of you who don’t know how to knit but have always wanted to learn, look no further than this simple tutorial on Design*Sponge. To try anything more complicated, search for how-to vids on YouTube. Soon, you’ll be knitting away!
*For more details on the sweater pictured above, visit my Agnes project page over on Ravelry.
While I might not dress like it at times, I’m ridiculously into all things style…and have been from an early age! As a wee one, I loved to wear “special legs” (my personal term for tights that I invented in preschool), flowery dresses, and heeled Mary Jane shoes. When my parents forced me into the necessary (in their minds) turtleneck in winter (gah!), I’d wear it under whatever party dress I’d selected for the day. I’d be seething with anger about it, but I’d be seething in style!
As I grew older, I drifted away from dresses and became a strictly no-fuss pants-are-best kind of gal. I discovered capris around first grade – pedal-pushers as my mom called them – and purchased my first bell bottoms in second grade (boy, did I think those jeans were boss!). Then came the pair of bright pink cords that I wore every day the year I turned 9 until the knees gave out.
While I suppose my personal style has evolved somewhat since elementary school, I now wear dresses and special legs (pardon, tights) occasionally, I’d say it’s moved in a direction that’s more focused on casual comfort. For example, I own several pairs of heels that I’ve acquired over the years, but I rarely wear them. Even when an occasion calls for some fancy dressing, I’ll spend a good five-minutes debating over whether to go with comfy flats (and I’m talking, like, Keen comfy here) or the shoes I keep in my closet in case an event of this nature were to occur. And I’ll almost always go with the flats.
I’m the kind of person you’ll see walking down the street in hiking shoes, leggings, skirt, sweater, and brightly-colored Pashmina and think, “Gee, she’s in need of a little makeover.” I know people think this at me because I do it all the time to other folks and there’s no way I’m alone. It’s part of the human condition to judge and judge we do. I’ve received the once-over-frown-smile look from stylish ladies often enough to realize that they’re judging my outfits (that, or they’ve got a serious case of bitch-face. I have it too. Solidarity, sista). “Throw a carpet bag in the mix and she practically looks homeless,” they think in my general direction. I wish I had a sign that was only invisible to these particular folks that read, “I am well-aware of how not-classy this outfit is, but it was the closest I could get to publicly-acceptable pajamas. I plan on doing better tomorrow.”
Not that being comfortable has to come at the cost of stylishness (or that any of this shit actually matters). I see classy and yet comfortable-looking ladies strutting around this town all the time. How I yearn to be like them! (Just a note, these classy/comfy-style peeps are almost always middle aged women.) I guess I haven’t quite mastered my personal “look” just yet. I’ve established styles I like, head on over to my Pinterest for a mere smattering of looks, but still don’t have a carefully curated closet that produces a cohesive style day in and day out. Also, I’m lazy. As I said before, I prefer to be in socially-acceptable pajamas if I’m going anywhere on a cold morning or right after I’ve woken up.
Anyhoo, when I’m not in yoga pants and a brightly colored scarf, I like to play with more interesting (though still comfy!) looks and draw much of my inspiration from style blogs. And I want to share them with you because they’re, like, quality, man! Starting next week, I will be posting some of my favorite 1. personal style, 2. style & interview, and 3. street style blogs, featuring three blogs in each category. Get pumped!
Like many students, every winter throughout college I migrated back home to stay with my family for the holidays. The break would last about a month, wherein I would get horribly sick (let’s face it, I’d probably had a total of 5 hours of sleep during finals), lounge around the house in sweatpants, drink tea with my high school besties, and de-compress/de-stress from my grueling college semester.
I’ve now been out of college for over a year and am happy to report that, while I no longer get horribly sick when I return home (thank the heavens), for the second winter in a row I have had the luxury of spending 2-3 weeks with my family in their home on the Central Coast.
Now, if you’re still in college, you might not realize how envious some of my working friends are of my vacation situation. For most of us when we enter the working world, “winter break” becomes a phrase of the past. Instead of a month-long chill-sesh in December and January, one must continue with one’s job, hopefully getting the chance to spend a couple paid (and heavily rationed) vacation days with family and friends at one point or another during the holidays. This is the life of the working college grad. This should be my life, but for some very lucky reasons it has, blessedly, not been just yet. Here’s why:
My first year out of college I was lucky enough to have a boss who understood the necessity of being away from the freezing-ass cold of West Philadelphia in December and let me take a very generous break to be with my family in California (for the record, I did get some work done…some). Technically, I was on a paid vacation and, technically, I should have only been home for a week or less (thanks, VISTA), but, happily, I was able to have a “winter break” like the college kid I still felt I was. And it was lovely! When I returned back to work in January I was ready to tackle whatever grant proposal came my way! I had had my flu, I had relaxed deeply, and I had visited with the high school buddies that keep me going. It was great!
After my service year ended, I was lucky enough to have a “summer break” (read: lived off/spent all of my meager savings) before beginning work as a consultant in August. And then, due to the contractual nature of my new job, I received this wonderful little break in December, which meant, and means until next week, that once again I am on “winter break” when really I should be slogging away at an office somewhere wishing that my weekends were two days longer.
So, while I do not know how long this job will last and while I have yet to figure out my professional goals in life, I take comfort in the knowledge that while I am in this tele-commuting ”free-lance consultant” unstable/confusing/and bizarre point in my career, I get to spend my days wherever the fuck I want (ahem, can afford). And this holiday season, I am spending them curled up on the couch in my parents’ family room, trying to make out the words on my computer screen over the intense glare that is coming from the window behind me. It’s a rough life.
Yes, there’s a part of me that wishes I had a career with a steady income, but there’s also another part of me, and, let’s face it, in this moment a much bigger part of me, that’s so dang pleased that I get to spend this long stint of time back home. Maybe I’ll have normal adult vacations in this new year. But right now, I’ll bask in the glory that is free-lance employment and enjoy the last few days of my break. Suck it, bitchez.
Image via b$/ram
Neglect no more! I am back! Spoiler alert: a couple of the pictures from this post portray the location of geocaches in Berkeley, so if you plan on going geocaching in these parts, be aware (i.e. close your eyes and attempt to exit this page)!
Last weekend Jayden (my little bro) and I went geocaching or, as Jayden likes to put it, looking for junk around a park. I’d never actually done this before (though one time I stumbled upon a geocache in the Santa Cruz mountains…crazy!), but with the visit of my brother and the wonderful weather, Saturday seemed like the perfect day to try my hand at treasure-hunting! I have to say, I saw my city in a whole new light through this experience. Urban geocaching is beautiful! A little tin full of treasure could be hiding anywhere! You just have to look.
Now, geocaching in Berkeley is a little crazy. First off, for being a small city, this is not a lazy place, and on Saturday it seemed like everyone was out and about. A couple of the geocache locations were very public. Jay and I must have looked a little crazy standing in the median on Shattuck for ten minutes, just searching. Crazy. No doubt.
All in all we visited four different geocach locations. Two of the “treasures” were missing, one had a man sleeping on it, and the last, well, the last was amazing. Not only because we actually found the Geocache, but also because the dude who thought up the location, placement, and rhyme to illustrate where to find the geocache was a baller. A baller I tell you. Jayden and I were squealing like the children we really are. It was so exciting!
Well, things have been very busy over here in Kylin-land. Working full-time and trying to blog, and work on a new (and very exciting!) project, and have some semblance of a social life all at the same time…well, it’s difficult! But I’m up to the challenge! Mostly.
Anyhousen, I am so stoked to introduce to you that new (and very exciting!) project which we are calling Beginners Magazine and Blog. My good friend since childhood, Kelly, and I have trying to make this thing a reality since the summer and I am pleased to announce that we successfully launched the blog last week (magazine to launch this winter). We’re posting new and hilarious content daily, so head on over to the blog and check it out! If you take a liking to it, please come back regularly. And if your liking is very very strong, consider becoming a contributor! We can’t pay you but we can show you great appreciation and love. Yay!