life list: 2015

remember my life list i finally published back in 2013, exactly 2 years ago? you know, it was a list i’d been compiling for years of things i really wanted to do and i’ve been feeling the need to revisit it. some things are the same and some might have changed. so let’s go! here are 100 things to do before i go…

1. move to nyc – dream since 4th/5th grade

2. thank kristen bell in person (she knows why)

3. tm (transcendental meditation) 2x a day, everyday. i’ve learned and now i want it to be a habit everyday.

4. see the eiffel tower and go to the top

5. be spontaneous and take a trip without planning it

6. own another vintage vw and restore it

7. own a real eames lounge chair

8. visit all 50 states – 11 left to visit: alaska, hawaii, north dakota, south dakota, wisconsin, maine, new hampshire, minnesota, montana, vermont, & rhode island

9. have sex in every state

10. fold 1000 origami cranes

11. visit the eames house, the farnsworth house, and the glass house

12. learn how to work a digital camera. like, for real.

13. start a retirement fund

14. renovate a house/apt

15. run a 5k without breaking a sweat

16. rescue a dog from a shelter

17. visit NASA

18. take a vacation and do zero work

19. email = inbox zero

20. do genetic testing (23andme)

21. research my dad’s family

22. do a split again

23. be credit card debt free

24. wear a swimsuit again and not give a shit what other people think

25. visit the swiss alps

26. see a space shuttle launch (probably too late for that)

27. take another painting class

28. get comfortable in front of the camera

29. a job where i have extra money every month to save

30. ride the london eye

31. create again – paint, photography, etc.

32. drink a gallon of water everyday

33. meet howard & beth stern

34. renovate bathroom in current loft

35. decorate loft & be happy with it

36. visit japan again

37. wear only fancy underthings

38. write something for jane pratt

39. find a mentor

40. have sex everyday for a year

41. try going gluten free for a month, er, maybe a week

42. give up all sugary bevs for good

43. make out with a stranger (again)

44. design/make something to sell

45. own a photo booth

46. take a long train trip

47. see louis ck live

48. quit picking my cuticles once and for all

49. see denis leary live

50. a job with benefits

51. learn to hula hoop and be good at it, i.e. keep the hoop up for longer than a few seconds

52. cruise to alaska

53. write something important

54. revisit spain

55. take a pilates class

56. have someone sing ‘sweet caroline’ to me (again), preferably timothy hutton, ala ‘beautiful girls’

57. go to mardi gras

58. play a song on a guitar

59. do 100 sit-ups with relative ease

60. take a good photo of the moon

61. learn to weld

62. ride a vespa

63. sell a painting

64. cross the golden gate bridge

65. go roller skating again

66. have a great wardrobe i love

67. drive the entire highway 1

68. make 1 million dollars

69. take a good passport photo

70. take the tram to roosevelt island

71. get back to morning pages for at least a month, ala “the artist’s way”

72. pet anderson cooper’s dog

73. receive a love letter

74. pay it forward – pay for someone to learn tm (transcendental meditation)

75. create an app

76. get lasik surgery

77. finally have sinus surgery

78. figure out a way to have pain-free feet

79. own a large format photo printer

80. volunteer on a major holiday

81. write a soldier

82. pursue a crush

83. figure out how to manage my hair

84. have a place for everything and keep everything in its place

85. drive cross country again

86. go on a girl’s trip again

87. own a real bed

88. be car-free (i.e. live in a city with great public transportation)

89. walk across the brooklyn bridge

90. sit next to andy cohen on a flight

91. become a million miler

92. learn not to cringe when i look in the mirror

93. have a birthday party, as an adult

94. build a modern house

95. skate on a frozen pond

96. see catherine wheel live (a girl can dream)

97. eat pasta in italy again

98. donate hair to locks of love or the like

99. say i love you more (and mean it)

100. live to see 1. – 99. happen

it’s 2015, people

e75-star-light

01.05.15 (although written on 12.31.14)

how did that happen?! i feel like with each passing year, the 12 months go by a little faster feeling like some kind of warp speed.

2014 was icky. it rivaled 2011, which was one of the most heartbreaking years i could imagine.

as terrified as i am to be in a new year, this particular year and the age it brings, i’m a little relieved to let 2014 rest in the past.

most of 2014 i’ve left off the blog – it’s just not something i want to share – but i’ll say this… as hard as it was, i’ve learned a lot and certainly grown from it.

it’s made me appreciate the small things. the happy moments. the little reminders that not everything is bad… and for that, i’m grateful. we only go around this life once so it’s time to make the most of it. as selfishly as it sounds, i’m going to focus on me and being happy.

most importantly, i plan to have a hell of a lot more fun. so bring it, 2015. but bring it gently, okay?

Protected: deep, dark secrets

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just one of the guys

jenny lewis \\\ ‘just one of the guys’

been digging this song and now the video makes me laugh…

wonder

alhambra palace in granada, spain

alhambra palace in granada, spain

i will always wonder who you would have become…

“and when at last you find someone…”

“And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter — they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long.”
- Sylvia Plath

so true… and oh so hard.

spain, by numbers

1 country
3 hotels
4 hangovers
5 cities
6 flights
6 nights
7 days
8 people
10 hours of sleep
17+ shuttles
and
99 bottles of wine.

sixth sense? i don’t know…

cosentino-mediterranean

the mediterranean in mojacar, spain

do you believe in people having a sixth sense?

i don’t think i ever really thought about it till i was much older.

i’ve talked about whatever it is just a tiny bit here, but it’s so much more than that.

was talking to someone about it yesterday and it got me thinking about how weird and unsettling it can be. i never understood it before, i guess i still don’t? i just know i get the feels sometimes.

let me explain.

for as long as i can remember, i instinctively get this intense, crazy feeling, a physical feeling, throughout my whole body unlike anything else when i meet someone new and know they’ll be important in my life.

the kind of important where i’ll know them for life and they’re there for a bigger reason that i don’t necessarily know at the time. the journey with that person is not always easy, but it’s always taught me an incredible amount about myself and life in general. i’m not talking about the romantic sense of knowing them, either. just life-long, important people in my life.

the crazy thing is, is that i’ve yet to be wrong.

even though it’s happened several times before, it still surprises me.

every. damn. time.

the feeling is so intense that it almost knocks the breath out of me.

it’s even weirder when someone else, a 3rd party, affirms it.

all this to say… it happened again. while i was in europe.

it threw me for a loop as it always does. and i sit here and wonder, what does it all mean and what will be…?

the answer is i just don’t know. i have to let whatever course happen naturally, which sometimes is hard. i mean, realllll hard.

i don’t have any expectations of friendship or anything from this person. like i said, it’s not a romantical kind of thing.

i’m still feeling the feels lingering because it’s hard to shake the feeling i get from the initial contact. which means there’s just weirdness. (how many times can i put ‘feel’ in one sentence?).

sigh…

oh, another thing that starts happening are these weird synchronistic things. like people with the same name start messaging me and friending me. just an example.

[also happens right before someone close to me dies. fun, right? now, who wants to hang out?]

spain: broken down, part 2

[in case you missed them, you can also read my initial post and part 1.]

and now back to it…

day 4

brekkie in the lounge. hungover. embarrassed. vulnerable. just feeling weird.

left for cosentino to explore the dekton factory. truly revolutionary. more later…

big group lunch with the canada group. few references from the night before. good times.

loaded the van/bus up with our group and a group from canada that was there and we headed to the seaside town of mojacar about 1+ hours away.

felt overwhelmed on the ride. starred out the window watching the spanish countryside pass me by while listening to music on my phone. i was exhausted and slightly delirious but so happy to be there. but also, so strange just how alone you can feel when you’re surrounded by a group of people. great people, even.

we stopped to get out and see the mediterranean. remember i mentioned it here and it being on my life list here? well, it was nothing short of magical sticking my feet in and just soaking it up as much as possible. the sun on my face and arms and sand between my toes was awe-inspiring. we hung out there for awhile taking it all in.

loaded back up and headed up the winding hills to the town of white dwellings and businesses. when the bus couldn’t go any further, we got out and walked up the hill to the top. the views = captivating. we took group photos then ventured down to a cafe.

i wondered off some but came back to tables full of sangria and eats.

so i drank again. numbed out. (ps. the sangria there is mighty fine)

we walked down to meet the bus and headed down the hill to dinner on the water.

another fun, loud night of over-sharing and i liked it. not the over-sharing on my part but everyone else’s.

there was beer, wine, and limoncello. i think there was a lot of food too. mostly a liquid dinner though.

the party bus continued back to macael 1+ hours away. got back close to 2am. another long, but fulfilling day.

more drunk texts. not awesome again. someone, please keep my phone for me.

day 5
up early again after not much sleep. more hangover and head hanging down.

check out of the hotel and loaded up on a bus. took another 2 hour drive to granada.  we walked the canadian group to their hotel and then headed to a cathedral as a group. another magical moment.

somehow most of the group left without me (miscommunication) and i was invited (?) to third wheel it with L & J. not sure (definitely sure) it wasn’t what they had in mind.

we explored and went in shops and then headed to the granada cathedral. the main one. overwhelming to say the least. it’s impossible not to feel things in there, no matter your take on religion. spent some time in there before heading back out.

walked around and found an outdoor cafe to eat/drink lunch. hallie walked by and joined us. more eats and drinks (sangria).

the boys left and hallie and i walked around until we met up with the group.

it was then time to go to the alhambra palace for our tour. the tour was 2.5 hours with lots of walking but sooooo worth it. so much history and so much to look at. tried to soak as much of it in as possible realizing that things were winding down.

got a charlie horse in my leg walking back. awesome, right? especially when you’re in a hurry.

we rushed back to the bus to head to the airport for our 10:30pm flight back to barcelona. we were pretty exhausted by this point after many long days, lack of sleep, and walking around in the hot sun. we had one last meal together in the airport and then waited for our delayed flight.

i got stuck in a middle seat on a hot plane with a creep next to me. i was done at this point. started to freak out and wanted to get off the plane. it was all i could do to hold it together and meditate. then listened to spiritualized. it was the longest 1.25 hour flight ever.

day 6
arrived in barcelona at around 12:45am, got luggage and then went to find shuttle to hotel. we were all pretty delirious at this point. or maybe it was just me?

made it to the hotel for the slowest check-in process ever. i was tired but not sleepy so i didn’t care.

we split off and headed to our rooms at who knows what time. i couldn’t cool off so i showered and tried to sleep. was awake till about 4:30am.

up at 6:15am i think. it was next to impossible to get up. i just wanted to sleep and forget everything.

managed to make it downstairs to find L. talked to him for a few and once again tried to explain myself. don’t know why i kept feeling compelled to do so, but things felt weird and i kept feeling the need. it’s just a weird time for me. confusing. emotional. and had been feeling lost. pretty sure he’s over it and just wants to avoid me. whatever.

the remaining 7 of us went to the airport and said our quick goodbyes.

must admit, i was sad to see everyone go in opposite directions.

it was time, but still, we had shared an experience that no one else did and it was ending.

luckily i ran into rona near our gates and we sat and talked before another goodbye.

then it was time to board the next flight home….

only to be surprised when one of my hall passes (you know about those, right? look it up if you don’t) that i had just talked about the day before, boarded last onto my flight and sat right across the aisle from me.

he’s one of those enigmatic people that you’re drawn to. not dropping his name because i believe in privacy and shit. but those at the table might remember the spanish actor i was talking about. hot damn.

made for an interesting plane ride.

\\\

part of me is so sad it’s over. part of me didn’t want it to end, not wanting to come back to reality. nothing lasts forever, i know. and we all have lives in various parts of the country.

but still…

it’s a chapter closed and who knows if you’ll see these people again.

spain: broken down, part 1

if only you knew how true the title of this post was for me…

(rundown of the trip so i don’t forget anything. parts are sort of cryptic but that’s how it needs to be.)

i already talked a bit the other day about the trip. you can read that here.

i’ll add photos at some point but in the meantime, you can check out what i’ve posted to my instagram account and to design milk’s.

day 1
arrived in barcelona at around 7:45am (local time), tired as hell. headed to the hotel but my room wasn’t ready yet. roamed around but just wanted to shower and rest. finally checked in then went to explore some. the grocery store was a madhouse but i always like seeing how it’s done in other countries.

hotel view

hotel view

met the group for the first time at 8pm for dinner. walked to a local restaurant and ate some of the best damn food i’ve ever eaten. it was a tapas place called ciudad comtal. go if you’re ever there. do it. you won’t regret it, especially if you go with someone who’s awesome at ordering.

Cosentino-Barcelona-trip-1

i left earlier than the rest of the group. needed to roam some. then rest.

day 2
i just couldn’t get up. between jet lag and other stuff, i just couldn’t. i slept and would wake up and write in my journal and then go back to sleep. then repeat.

gaudi house

gaudi house

finally found the strength to get up and get ready. ate a few bites of food at a local cafe then taxied to gaudi’s casa batlló and then on to sagrada familia. good lord. it’s jaw dropping and pretty fucking magnificent. you could stare and walk around it all day and never begin to notice all the details.

sagrada familia

sagrada familia

then headed to gaudi’s park guell. one word – wow.

park guell

park guell

park guell

park guell

i started feeling really rundown so i headed back to the hotel and laid down. sadly, i missed the group dinner that night. it was a shitty night. a really, really shitty night.

park-guell7

day 3
checked out of the hotel at 6am (kill me) and headed to the airport with the group. 8am flight to alicante, spain. got in a van and drove the 2+ hours to macael, spain. once there, we visited a quarry owned by cosentino. amazing.

Cosentino-Barcelona-trip-8-quarry

went to our hotel, la tejera, and checked in. group lunch at the hotel’s restaurant. so. much. delicious. food.  after the 2-hour meal, we headed to cosentino to learn about the company.

i get pitched a lot of product, brands, designs, you name it. let’s face it – it’s hard to blow me away. much of it comes from how a company is run and the people who work there, and of course, the product itself. getting invited inside a company is one of the coolest things ever. first, it’s a privilege to be there. second, what an experience to get to learn the ins and outs of what makes a company tick and how they got to where they are. i also really like seeing how things are made.

Cosentino-Barcelona-trip-9

cosentino is one of those companies that reminded me again why i love design and why i love my job.

we explored their showroom and one of their factories. we busted it out in orange vests, headphones, masks, and hard hats. no, i will not post those photos.

Cosentino-Barcelona-trip-10

then back to the hotel. walked the street a little to shoot some of the local scenery.

and then it begins...

our US group decided to meet up at the cafe/bar of the hotel for dinner instead of the fancy restaurant.

and then, i dropped my sobriety at the door. let’s just say i haven’t had a drink in awhile but the switch flipped and i started with beer.

then wine.

then more beer. and i didn’t care.

the dinner was laid back and full of laughs. something i needed badly. the walls were dropped and my normally vaulted mouth opened up.

everyone kinda opened up. ’twas a fun time.

if only i’d left my cellie in my room. it’s amazing how someone’s words can change the course of a moment, or even a lifetime.

felt pretty broken but the kindness of these (recent) strangers, now maybe friends was helpful. thanks, people. occasionally, i’m reminded that not everyone sucks.

i have no idea when we left but we shut the place down. couldn’t sleep despite my exhaustion. drunk texts ensued. awesome.

to be continued…