Sunday, April 29, 2007

saturday night

my friend bryce's view at dinner


my view at dinner


us after some crazy good food

Thursday, April 26, 2007

where i'm going (i hope)

i wrote out some goals for myself today. i feel like having them physically written out will help me focus on them. i'd like to be all around better. healthier, happier, more relaxed. so here they are. maybe there's one in there that'll be a starting point for you. or maybe you've got a suggestion.

DAILY GOALS
  • drink 1 fruit juice, 1 V8, and 2 bottles of water
  • eat breakfast
  • do yoga/pilates
  • write a travel journal entry
  • do readings/other work for uni
  • tell someone you love them!

WEEKLY GOALS
  • take at least 20 photographs
  • write a song or poem
  • update blog at least 3-4 times
  • talk on skype(phone) with 2-3 people (from somewhere other than school when i get back to nyu)
  • write to mom/don, dad/sandy, and elise(call them when back in the states)

LONG TERM GOALS
  • get a part-time job when i return to nyu (tutoring? guitar? bartender?)
  • graduate with a GPA no lower than 3.25, but aim for 3.50-3.75
  • spend more time with family- go see marybeth in dc or john in iowa city, or a weekend in chicago or the farm
  • don't flake out on friends just because you don't feel like going out
  • don't flake on work just because you want to chill
  • be patient.
  • don't sweat the small stuff... unless the details matter
  • don't be afraid of anything.
  • see the good things in life.
  • work to change the not-so-good things.
  • make the best decision possible.
  • speak your heart and mind.
  • be brave.
  • think. feel. breathe.

one of those 'artsy' types

i've just come back from my art tutorial and i'm pretty excited because i pretty much rocked it. i still don't know how i did on my paper even though my ta said it was good, but today in class i made a really good point that he hadn't even thought of. it make me really happy because this is the class i was most worried about sounding stupid in. but i don't. so that's good.

we've been talking about gothic architecture and it's totally made me not only want to go to europe to see it all but to go back to st john the divine when i get back to the city i have such good memories of the day camp there. who wouldn't want to look at this every day?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

gauci, molina, and schuster

mike took chris and i out for dinner last night in a nice suburb of sydney. we of course looked fabulous, had a great conversation, and were wonderfully behaved... until the ride home.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday, April 20, 2007

alexis schuster and the incapacitating headache

today i had a massive headache. i went to class and took a nap. that's about it.

i did take some pictures though- a few self portraits and some ones of campus... i'm pretty sure i go to hogwarts.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

weird wednesday

i kind of had a fight with liam today. fun times(sarcasm). it's going to keep happening until we talk about things. we probably won't. i try to bring it up and air it out but he's not interested. if i repress any more i might get a brain tumor like lois in that episode of family guy.

on the upshot i'm enjoying everything else- classes are good, i actually got to read my book today, my new camera is keeping me sane, i'm writing poetry. mike and i are getting closer which is nice. i talked to john today and he said he misses me and he's definitely visiting me in nyc this fall. awesome. i love john.

i'd write something more interesting but the few days have been pretty emotionally exhausting and to be honest i'm at one of those rare points where i can't even really think of a good sentence, let alone something funny or clever. i'm trying, but sometimes that only gets you so far. guess i need to read more. that's funny because i read 55 pages for art today. maybe i need to read something different. maybe i need to just...be.

Monday, April 16, 2007

the good parts

i talked with brett on skype today. it made me happy. i miss him.

i got my new camera today. i'm ecstatic.

i saw a door in the floor. very good. rent it.

i treated myself to gelato because i turned in my first paper here.

i had a good conversation with chris and bryce.

i talked to elise. i miss her too.

i made new playlists with old music.

it's been good.

the weekend

friday night chris and i went to the panthers vs. eels rugby game with gore, belinda, liam, jeff, and bailey. we had a total blast- gore and i were the only ones going for the eels, so we cheered when they won while everyone else complained.


saturday night we went to liss' 21st, which was at once awesome and awful. i was lara croft, and chris was catherine zeta-jones in zorro(the theme was hollywood.) liss looked gorgeous, rightly so, and almost the whole group was there, so it was really fun. there was major drama with liam which resulted in me deciding not to talk to him anymore, which is a shame, but frankly i've given him too many chances already and he's wasted every one, so it's his own fault.

yesterday i spent all day studying and watching family guy, and today i handed in my first paper here, which felt pretty good, and also talked to elise. so it's been kind of rollercoaster-y the last few days, but i don't really expect anything different these days.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

manly

today chris and i spent the afternoon at manly, a really cute little suburb across the harbor. we took a ferry over and walked through the main part of town, which is basically just this gigantic pedestrian walkway with a bunch of surf shops and souvenir places. chris found a necklace with a gorgeous fish pendant, but i was kind of disappointed because i kept trying things and trying things and nothing fit or was too expensive.

when we got to the end of the street we cross and went to look at the beach. it's really touristy and full of surfers- even at like 3:45 there were a ton of people there. but it's a nice beach, and it was cool to see it busy rather than how completely dead it was when liam and i visited last june.

we walked back up the other side of the street, and i finally found a store that had a great sale on. i got a few tops, and a studded black belt to complete my lara croft: tomb raider costume for liss' 21st on saturday. at the next shop i found an awesome pair of boardies(board shorts, surf shorts, whatever you want to call them), and chris was cracking me up trying on a million swimsuits.

we got back on the ferry and then the bus home, and now it's time to read 5 chapters of my mythology book and edit my art paper. awesome.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

continuum

today i wrote a kick ass art analysis. i'm very happy. i didn't think i could do it.

brett put his wall back up and i was first to write on it, at his request. but even if he wouldn't have asked, i still would have been first.

i'm still kind of homesick. that's ok.

i had really good pad thai.

i went for gelato, which i haven't had since friday.

i listened to john mayer's album continuum again, and was happy about the fact that it's one of those rare albums where you never have to skip tracks. i realized that it's one of the only albums that matches my many moods and feelings. it's kind of like being known. i like that.

life keeps moving, and i'm happy to move along.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

blue mountains




chris and i went with liam and mike and his girlfriend belinda to the blue mountains yesterday. it was awesome! liam and mike got audio guides and were relaying us with the information, and doing all sorts of goofy stuff.

i really enjoy spending time with mike- he's so funny, and one of the sweetest, most genuine people i know. and belinda is a total sweetheart as well. i'm going to miss them a lot when i leave.

today i talked to mom for like and hour and a half on skype, and it was so good to hear her voice. she told me all about what's going on at home and i told her about my classes and my trip to murramarang.

and now i have to write a paper. yes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

wednesday again


i talked to krystle on skype today. also dad and sandy. it made me so so happy.

and i did a 50 page reading for art. awesome.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

murramarang

what an amazing weekend.

friday morning i got up at 6:15 to catch the bus for the brockport trip at 7. chris, josh, dan, kat, her mom and i were waiting in the suv courtyard when we saw carol and skye waving at us, and went to meet them. we had a 5 hour bus ride down with the macquarie kids, and it was good to see them all again. most of them slept the whole way down, but i listened to my ipod and tried to just enjoy the ride.



we got to our cabins at murramarang, and saw kangaroos literally on the doorsteps. we got settled in, and then chris and i went down to the beach. eventually the sun started to set and we got cold, so we came back inside and watched tv. i made pasta for everyone in the cabin, and we ate it while we watched message in a bottle. at 8 we went to carol and skye's cabin to see uncle max, and he spoke to us about the land and our identities and being in touch with the world. he said:

never loose your identity. otherwise you become like a stick thrown into the ocean: you're just going with the flow. but i believe you mob are stronger than that. so don't lose your identity, where you come from.

that hit me, when he said it. even though i believe that people can and should try to change and grow, i agree that you should keep your identity- whether that is family, your values, your friends, your passions. i'm trying to do that, to find some sense of grounding.

uncle max took us down to the beach and told us about how when he was little, he was given the honor of pulling up the first fish caught of the day at that very beach. he asked us to at some point, stand with our feet planted in the sand at the edge of the surf, close our eyes, and just feel. he said:

for you to feel anything, to experience anything, stand with your feet in the sand and let the waves wash over them. close your eyes. and then, you will start to feel.

saturday morning we got up and met uncle max on the cliffs between beaches. he told us how his people would come to eat the fish there, and how the shells closest to the surface would tell them what had been eaten last, and so they would not eat them. he spoke a lot about being in touch with that land, looking at nature for signs instead of just doing whatever you wanted. about keeping balance.

we hoped on the bus for a ride up to gulaga mountain. when we got there, we started the hike up to the saddle, where there are a lot of sacred aboriginal sites. let's just say that it was at least a 45 degree grade all the way up, and it was two hours with a few short breaks to rest and drink some water. i haven't done anything that strenuous in a long time, and i felt really good when i reached the top. we all ate lunch, and then uncle max put ocher above each eye, in the center of our foreheads, and on our chins, he said:

these fellas are to open your mind
this fella here is to open your eyes, so that you may hear what i teach you
this fella is for silence, for respect to those gone before us

after that his grandson gave us each a red string to tie around our foreheads. uncle max then had us each pluck a leaf from a tree, smell it, bend it and smell it again, then crush it and smell it a third time. each time the smell got more potent, and he told us that the more potent the smell, the stronger the healing.

he took us into the sacred sites, first to two rocks that symbolize a man and a woman. he told us the creation story of his people, and then asked us to each place a hand on the female rock. he asked us each to think of things in turn- an unborn child, a sick family member, an animal- and then asked the wind spirit to take our healing. he said afterwards that he felt something strong, that he would tell us about it later.

we next went to the rock that symbolizes a pregnant woman, and then to one that was a child. all along the way he told us many things about what he’s learned in life, about respecting the earth and learning from it. we next went to the teaching rock, and climbed up on it. uncle max asked us each about how we felt the energy from the rock, and what animal we thought of. It turned out that 7 people thought of dogs, and he’s never seen anything like that. He spoke to us about totems, how he has a personal one, and family one, and a tribal one, and then he also told us about how the government treats his people.

we hiked down from the teaching rock and uncle max thanked us for coming with him and being respectful. uncle max told us how when we was 7, he told his grandpa he’d had a bad day and his grandpa said sit down, I’m going to tell you a story you’ll never forget. Uncle max said he sat down and looked up at his grandpa, and his grandpa said. there are sunny days, cold days, frosty days, snowy days, rainy days… there is no such thing as a bad day. That really stuck with me, and I’m going to try to remember to say that to myself when I feel like I’m going through something I can’t handle or I feel like everything is going wrong. we took a ton of pictures and hiked back out. when we got back out we had a snack and talked to uncle max for a bit, and i asked him what he thought the greatest thing he had learned in his life was. he said it was probably learning to communicate in silence. He told me that he learned that by spending 10 days not talking with his teachers up in the same spot where we were.

we soon left to hike down the mountain, and it was soo much better going down than up. we got back on the bus and i talked with Andrew, one of the guys on the trip, for a while, and then tried to snooze. i could feel my legs already getting sore, and when i tried to uncurl from my seat when we got back it was painful.

we went down to the pool for a barbie. i served uncle max- he is always served first as a sign of respect- then got my food, and sat down to eat. we all sat around talking about the experiences we've had so far, and then Chris was getting tired, so I took a picture of her and uncle max and we walked back to our cabin.




on sunday chris and i got up and watched the sunrise together on the beach. it was great, just the two of us, totally beautiful and we were just having a quiet conversation and some tea. we went back to sleep for a while, then got up and spent the rest of the day on the beach. perfect.

we all took pictures with the kangaroos before we left, and then headed out for the 5 hour bus ride. i snoozed and listened to music, and before i knew it, we were home. i was exhausted, so i went to bed.

this weekend totally recharged me. i've been feeling kind of weird, like i'm not really living life, like i'm just letting it pass me by. like i don't have control over what happens to me. but hearing uncle max's teachings and then getting to spend time in such a beautiful and peaceful place restored my spirit, some. it's nice to know that it's still there.