Friday, February 6, 2015

30 Days of Yoga

I'm doing 30 days of yoga with Adriene

One of my biggest health hurdles I need to overcome is consistency. So I'm going to make a point to do all of Adriene's 30 Days of yoga. I don't necessarily complete it in 30 days straight, I'm thinkin 3 days a week of yoga, at least. And afterwards and probably during, as well, I'll begin to build consistency with my other fitness goals: running, core, and toning (with weights).

Instead of posting a new note after each day, I'll just keep adding to this one, and I'm using the knowledge of intention I'm giving you guys as my motivation: I'm claiming this goal, you're witnessing and expecting me to achieve it, so I will.

Day 1!
"Ease Into It" (how appropriate :-P)
2/04: Warming up with basic stretching.

Day 2
Stretch & Soothe
2/06: high lunges are not so soothing, turns out.

Day 3
Forget What You Know
2/09: Hip opening!

Day 4
Yoga Has Your Back

2/17: Today was hard. I didn't even finish. This threading the needle pose, though, LOVED IT.

Day 5
2/25 There is no record, but Chris joined me

Day 6
2/26: Finally core! I'll definitely be doing more of these.

Day 7
Total Body Yoga
3/05: Felt it more in my arms today. So weak!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Me, A Successful Student?

As of the end of 2013, I successfully completed the Great American Education Circuit:

For elementary school I attended a challenging institution named after a paragon of American literature where I learned 1 or 2 grades above my level (along with my peers, of course).

I was graciously accepted into one of the top three schools in the city of Chicago--this includes private, public, and charter schools--for middle school and I stayed through high school. There I took more classes above my level in the 7th and 8th grades and by the time my freshman year started I was learning with juniors and seniors, and occasionally I'd end up with one or two other exceptional students in my year. Instead of graduating early with the amount of credits required achieved, I stayed through my senior year. Lucky that, because I took my first digital animation class. I was on my way to being a professional artist!

For undergrad I attended Arizona State, which some of my AP teachers were not so happy with, but I was a student in the honors college there all 4 years. That makes it better, right? I got to travel the world a little when I was 20. Made awesome friends, breezed through my pre-reqs, and learned a little about a lot that I didn't need. After fighting my way through an art program that barely taught me my focus, I graduated! Mandatory functional education complete. But what the hell am I gonna do with a crappy portfolio, limited job skills, and big dreams???

Go back to school, of course. This time to actually learn the tools of the digital trade. This was the hardest part of education for me, partially because it was for a Master's degree, but more so because I've now realized how lazy of a student I am and I've identified what I had to do to get by and do "well enough." I cared about VFX and animation, and I still do, but I think I was burning out. I had been riding the education challenge for years and I just wanted to be done with this and do what I want in life. Now I am done, yay! I have my second college degree and, again, no work  experience, a couple of internships that I really do think failed to prepare me for what companies are looking for, and bills and debt and expenses that I cannot just ignore to take an unpaid gig, and learn. more.

So what now?
  • Move back in with my parents rent free so I can work a different crappy part time job and gain experience at an unpaid gig? (this would include moving away from Chris, and enduring horrid winters in a locale where The Industry isn't as strong)
  • Dump Chris, find a sugar daddy and then do the unpaid internship route and work my way up the career food chain?
  • Take time off from my life pursuit, get a better paying receptionist job to save up money and then try the unpaid internship route in a few years?
Right now I'm working two jobs, making just enough to get by and feverishly trying to find a paid internship that doesn't require me to still be in school and earn College Credit and ignore the perfect positions I come across that want 3, 5, 10 years of industry experience but don't offer apprenticeships or anything helpful. Where do I get in???

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Good Morning

I had a vision today of what my own personal hell would be.

I wake up and do yoga. I feel good about the physical exertion, and sticking to doing what I said I would. But from there it gets progressively worse. I check the bus times and see that I have to leave extremely soon. Fly through getting ready, I kiss Chris and the cat (Otto) before I rush out.

When I step outside there's a decent fog covering the other houses and apartments on my block. It's like being in a video game that renders out what you can see as you get closer: I can see about a block ahead of me, and more as I keep moving. And I do keep moving; I have no time to contemplate how I feel like I'm the only person in the world at 7.15 on a Sunday morning walking through the fog. And the bus will be at the stop 3 blocks and 2 major street crossings away in T-minus 5 minutes. So I start my slow desperate I'm-gonna-miss-the-bus "run" and the houses go by. The fog doesn't lift and I don't feel like I'm getting any closer. Eventually--my chest heavy because I'm the most out of shape slim person you've ever seen--the first major street comes up: 3 lanes, a median with a left turn lane, and another 3 lanes. The next cars are close enough to encourage me to J-run now, but not enough that my life is immediately threatened. Once across, I look at my phone for encouragement. I have a minute to go a short block, cross the street, and go another block. So much for my post-cross breath. I pick up the pace again and jog to the next light. No one's coming, and a woman twice my age jogs across safely against the light so I know I'm good. As I cross I see the bus headlights on the horizon. I still have to get to the actual stop. I make a run for it, looking over my shoulder, feeling its approach. I see it coming up and the bus driver isn't acknowledging me, or showing any sign of stopping for me. I look ahead and I'm suspended halfway up the block from the light and still halfway away from the bus stop. It's not getting any closer. My chest is hurting more than ever. Damn my perpetual laziness.

We go on like this forever: The bus speedily approaching, never slowing to offer reprieve and allow me on. The bus stop never getting any closer to offer me sense of arrival, or a seat to wait for the next bus. And me, running sloppily because I'm out of practice, out of shape, and wearing the worst, loosest fitting shoes I own. In pain and chastising myself for not getting ready earlier, for not sticking to any exercise regimen ever for more than a couple days, for not saving enough money for a car, for choosing to be an artist and therefore never having enough money to save up for a car, for still working a retail job that I have to rush to buses to get to, for having...

Monday, May 7, 2012

That's Flattering, but I Don't Think So

This post isn't meant to sound arrogant. My observations are based on what people tell me, oftentimes without any prompting on my part. This also isn't self-deprecating, or wailing on a system that's been the way that it is for too long. I'm just responding, and critiquing myself against society's "ideal" as if comparing two pieces in the same genre or era of art. And I'm really good at that, considering I've been in the art studies field for over 5 years now. That said, here goes.

I went to a fashion show a few days ago. Some outfits were neat, most of them I wouldn't wear, and for the most part they were interesting. Totally unrelated to what I wrote above, I find it interest to see aspiring fashion students dress up for a fashion show, as if to prove that they belong in that atmosphere, and others choose not to and just soak up the experience.

Now related, while watching the models walk down the runway I thought about how they're literally supposed to be walking statues, androids if you will. Mobile mannequins that are supposed to make your outfits look good. I admired the models that had more attitude and personality, but didn't distract against the clothes. It was a breath of fresh air when compared against most of the other models (were they less experienced?) that had the same dead expression and walked slightly tilted back as if their walk cycle overcompensated for gravity.

Other thoughts that played through my mind had to do with people within the last year or so suggesting that I should try modeling. Of course I'm flattered when someone says it, but I never really take it to heart. I don't fit in with that world. I can't take it seriously, and I can't imagine living my life so out of my control that my body is regulated by someone else's wishes so that I make them and their product look good. The closest I ever came to making an effort was opening an account on, which I rarely check anyway.

On a more practical note, however, it wouldn't be wise to use me as a model. Besides the fact that I'm at least 3 inches too short to even be considered for a runway model, I imagine these clothes are meant to be produced for and consumed by a wide audience. Clothes made for my body type would not achieve this. The different areas of my body contrast each other so much it's silly:

  • I have a small frame, duh.
  • Most of weight (visually as well as physiologically) is in my bottom half.
  • Though my torso is relatively small, and I'm as developed as I was in 8th grade, I've got defined shoulders. Actually from neck to waist I'm shaped like a man, plus boobs.
  • My hips and thighs put me up a size more often than not, but there's no clear definition between my wait and hips, visually. It's because the measurements in my hips go up in depth b/c of my butt as opposed to width.
  • Luckily the weight in my butt rides high, and doesn't settle (like the classic white girl Tear-Drop Shape), nor does it appear heavy and come off as fat. But to accommodate, my thighs are wider and taper to my slimmer calves and ankles.
  • And my feet are just eh. Wide weird and unattractive.
  • But I've got a good face!

lol, again, not self deprecating, just comparing. I'm happy with who I am and how I look, and if I get and stay in shape I can look good for a while yet. To compensate for my less than ideal stature, one nice fellow a few nights ago suggested I look into doing print ads. I can just see it now: me posed and happy in a nice sundress for a Kohl's sales mag that you all get in the mail and then throw away, making all other middle-aged women jealous of my figure. Hahaha. No but srsly. I guess if a reliable person suggested it and got me a legitimate gig (and was hassle free for me), I'd try it out.

Who knows where the future will lead!?!?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Don't Worry

I gained clarity this week from a word search app that I play during my brief bouts of down time. Since I'm the only one that plays it I'm always trying too beat my own high score, but I was forced to slow down this one time. At the end of this particular session I had three words left that I realized summed up my "religious views:" let, god, & lie.

Let. God. Lie.

I don't like getting into discussions about religion, or politics, which it's why I'm posting it here instead of on Facebook. I'm making a statement, that's all. Take it or leave it. I don't want to get into a big debate about what I post. That said, I don't like to easily assign to labels about my beliefs, or lack thereof. So every once in a while when I do have a discussion about it, at the end the person says "Okay, so you're atheist." I just say Sure, why not? and I think Whatever it takes for you to wrap your head around the way I live my life.

I'm just not convinced. None of the beliefs sound plausible or likely. And there's been no evidence in my life for them, just conditioning by other people just like me. So I just don't think what believers believe is real, but no one can say YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY WRONG because none of us know for sure. But you can bet your sweet buns that I'm not gonna live the rest of my life on the shakey grounds of Maybe and What If. I'll live according to what's here, and I'll be a decent human being to others, try not to ruin my life, and glean some happiness along the way.

The word search summed up my opinion of others practicing religion. Let god lie. I can't tell anyone not to believe in something else, not to feel that there's something more to this world. Our existence is our perception of the world around us, and that's a part of some people's existence. I would like, however, for religious fervor to calm the hell down.

The proclamation of a god was a way to explain The Unknown, which was almost everything around us. As we started to explore the world and figure out the phenomena around us, like the sun, this god was responsible for less; at least, he was supposed to be. Religion swiftly became a measure of control over those who were less educated. It made money for a government and established a sub-nation that encompassed existing official nations; we call this organized religion. It was used as an excuse to sail off to unknown places and take over land from savages and call their religious practices wrong, when they they just weren't as developed and far less corrupt than this Christianity. Religion was a validation, a confirmation of the affirmations of those who were dissatisfied with what they had in life, or couldn't get what they want and thus sought out elsewhere. As western democratic government developed away from the controlling hand of God and who he ordained to be leaders and rulers, the god became more "personal."

Throughout all of this the god has been a comfort to the uncomfortable.
You were born poor? Don't worry, you'll be rich after you die.
Feeling like you're alone and no one knows/cares that you exist? Don't worry, the big guy who made you alongside the natural course of biology in your mother's womb watches over you and loves you just as much as he loves the next guy.
Feel like you're going through the motions and the day to day isn't worth living sometimes? Don't worry, all you need is love, and that heaven place is gonna be bomb, when you die.
You aren't a good person, and feel bad about it sometimes? Don't worry He doesn't judge and will love you no matter what, until you go to hell, if you go to hell.
Don't know what to do with your life and you're kind of just drifting? Don't worry, the maker of all things made you with a plan for your life. Just go with it, you don't have to put much thought into living.

Let God lie.
Live life as if you don't know what's going on, because none of us do. Don't really have a driving passion? So what, there are plenty of necessary mundane jobs that need to be filled. And it's okay to have them. There doesn't have to be something more. This world is interesting and confounding enough without all the added madness. Store God with science fiction. He'll still get a following that way. And like I said before, I feel this way about all religious beliefs, Christianity is just the loudest and most obnoxious one, taking up the most space, ruining lives with its meaningless implementations.

I want to believe that a rational generation is budding who won't conform to conditioning and feel like it's necessary to carry this dead horse. But a lot of the kids these days getting face time are dumber than before. Oh well. I'm resolved to deal with what comes up. Change has to come eventually, even if the masses are stubborn the whole way.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Still Going Strong

Chris and I have been together now for almost 3 years, and a little less than half of that has been while we were living in different cities, cumulatively. During our most recent separation (me living in San Francisco and he first in Arizona and now in LA) I've had a couple realizations.

The first one is kind of a sad one. I was in Arizona for 3 weeks over my winter break and as I buckled into my seat on the plane to fly back I was less than excited to be back here. It was the first time that I was kind of discontent with my decisions for a successful future. My thought was Why can't I be working/going to school and live with the people I love? At that moment I just felt tired of the distance, I just wanted that part to be over and everything to fall into place. I'm still here, so obviously I'm committed to my decision to continue school, and I do still think it will benefit my future endeavors. But I want to have my cake and eat it too. So my current goal is to land a long-term internship to use for my directed study starting next summer in LA, so I can live there and finish school online. Luckily, AAU is very supportive of its own online program. So that should work, I just need to get in contact with someone down there that wants me.

Is it evidence of love when you can acknowledge a trying truth about your partner and still want to be with them? I'm sure that has to be just a part of the description of love. And I'm not talking about anything big. I had my second realization within the last week.
My friend Erica is  living with me this summer until the fall semester starts and she moves into the dorms again. We share a studio apartment with a small kitchen and a small bathroom. She is the easiest-going roommate I've ever had, and is probably the best option for a situation like this, even over Chris. I lived with Chris in a similar transition period twice, once for two weeks, and the other last summer for a few months, and having separate spaces was pretty much essential. Erica and I are very similar: easy-going with small expectations of decency. We take turns doing the dishes, sometimes they pile up, and it always gets addressed. We make meals for each other and included each other in our social lives, supporting each other during this summer of potential boredom while school is out (for the most part) and most of our friends are out of town, and our money is tight so going out is scarce. This very close living situation has made our friendship stronger.
The same situation would strain Chris and I. I simply don't think living in a studio would work. Even if we have more floor space. I don't wanna list reasons and specific situations that we've dealt with when living together and how that wouldn't work here, because I don't want to seem like I'm attacking him remotely. But, despite the love, the same situation would likely strain our relationship more than (or maybe simultaneously) strengthening it.

I'm also considering way more seriously what he brought up way back in the earlier days of our relationship: living separately, for a while at least. After this honeymoon roommate situation I don't think I want to go back to anything less, not in the immediate future. When/If I move to LA next year I want to find my own place, and I think that will be best for us. I know what an ideal roommate situation looks like now, and I know what people are most definitely capable of, without too much effort. So I won't take excuses for dishes not being done or addressed, only added to for days at a time, or only one of us making food, buying groceries until things become one-sided and unfair until we have to Talk About It rather than it just being done.

Watch out world (and potential future roommates), I have standards now, and with every week that goes by I'm liking the idea of living alone for the next few years more and more.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm Me, Get Over it

This first bugged me a while back, but I'm pretty over it now. I'm more resigned with reality rather than irritated with people's opinions.
I've heard it all before and I guess I didn't pay attention because I was so excited about my new short hair. But since it's been 4 years this August since my new pixie cut, it's not so new anymore. And I expect people who've only known me having short hair to accept it as a part of me, as well. Example: I got eyeglasses for the first time just after the end of 5th grade. That summer I went to a new summer camp and my friends there only knew me with glasses. So when I left my glasses at home because I kept forgetting them because I wasn't used to having glasses yet, my friends were confused, because they only knew me with glasses. *Sigh* I wish life was simple like then.

But, I've heard the societal imprinted opinions that long flowing hair is beautiful and guys are attracted to long hair on women and what not. So what? I don't care. I look good with my short hair. I also don't like taking care of a lot of hair. And I prefer the way I look with short hair to long hair. With long hair I look like most [black] women you'll come across. Separately, I also think [women with] pixie haircuts (more often than not) are cute. Their attitudes and dress and look seem spunkier, more interesting, unique even. And with my pixie haircut I'm a part of that. I've had no regrets with my haircut, and I still don't.

So my new BFF (not an official title), Sebastien is talking about women with long hair—I think it was after our workout and before dinner—and how they're attractive and blah blah blah. That's all well and good, I don't really care. Then he swings it black to me: You should grow your hair out, blah blah blah. And I tell him some portion of the above. Sure most guys think long hair is gorgeous and sexy, but so what? I like the way I look. Better yet I'm dating someone who likes the way I look, too.

So of course the next occasion (not chronologically, but on the issue at hand) is watching the Cee Lo Green video, Fuck You on Skype with Chris. I'd heard the song with Kody on his iPod when I was hanging out with him down in Palo Alto, near Stanford. He raved about the song, and yeah it was fun, I like it. Chris raved about it to on this particular Skype session, and I hadn't seen the video yet, and yeah that was fun too. Cee Lo Green did a good job. I liked the story in the video and the style he chose. So at some point Chris goes "ooh, that girl is cute!" nbd, don't care, I'm confident in myself.

"You should grow your hair out like her! Girls with long hair are hot!" I'm not retarded. I know he wasn't saying I wasn't attractive, or that she was more attractive than I am. But only that long hair would amp up my image. But I felt like my last line of defense was gone.What's the hell? My bf is like everyone else. I don't wanna date everyone else. Simultaneously on Twitter I posted about how excited I was about my recent haircut. I love haircuts, every time I'm so happy. Maria responds supportively. Responding tweet: You're one of three people left on this planet that likes my hair short... Cee Lo Green video happens. And I have the urge to retweet, but I try not to be very morbid online, but the thought that goes through my head is "now there's only two of us." It's a bit of an extreme but hey, w/e.

Like I said, I'm over it, but I've wanted to blog this rant for a while, since about the beginning of November. I like my hair. Chris likes my hair, he compliments me on it. Shit like this will happen occasionally. And like all things, I'll get over it eventually. Some things take longer. This only took a few weeks to simmer down. Every time I get a haircut I'm reminded of how much I love my look. And you know, considering I don't like the task of doing hair, even if I did have a hair stylist to do my hair everyday, and the desire to get up early or stay up late enough to compensate for the time it takes to do my hair, I still wouldn't have it long. I'd just have my pixie look perfected.

So take that, society. Suck my short hair strands, cuz they're stayin that way. :-P