Doin' that Older Sis Thang

So my brother is going to Europe on his Senior Trip in a few weeks, and I just sent him an email with my tips for enjoying the trip (I went to Europe for the same thing my Senior year). I thought some of you might find them amusing, so may I present:

Tips from the Older Sister, Part I
(There is no Part II yet, but you never know)

*Bring a good book because there will be LONG hours on the bus. Try to find "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand and also "The Fountainhead by her. Get some more Brenan Manning books too, those are great. Also maybe Islands in the Stream by Hemingway...actually, anything by Hemingway (first name Ernest) is really good.

*Bring TONS of film. Cannot emphasize this enough. Take at least 15 minutes at each place you visit to take pictures of everything you can, especially things that are random (in other words, not just post-card worthy stuff).

*Bring a blank sketchbook for your journal, along with a glue stick and rubber cement and paste things in it. Like ticket stubs, menus, other cool things that you find (like that funny german toilet paper! Silly Germans!).

*Ice Cream. It is your best friend, especially in Italy (they call it "Gelato"). You will never get as good of ice cream anywhere else. Never. So eat up, my friend.

*Check out the cool paper stores in Innsbruck and the awesome stores in Lucern. Buy more fun little things (not super cheap, but think maybe posters and stuff you can put in an apartmant some day, like fun little lamps or trinkets. Things that will say, "I was in Europe. I am so much cooler than you." :) Try not to spend too much money on one thing, unless it's super special. Buy a cheap Swiss army knife in Switzerland, cuz they're, well, cheap. Plus they'll usually engrage it for free, so you can get something cool, like "Phil" on it.

*Don't buy things at rest stops, they're usually overpriced.

*Never, under any circumstances, buy fast food. Unless you are dying and it is the only thing within 50 miles, DON'T DO IT. Eat at little local places everywhere you go, especially the cheap "mom and pop" type places. Get pizza in Italy, sausage in Germany, and try to stick with Mr. Bryson [his principal] if you want to eat somewhere nicer. Take his advice, he's been there enough times to know what is good in the area.

*Drink lots of water. It will make a big difference.

*Don't start falling in love with one of the girls from another school [they go with two other schools on the trip]. You'll have much more fun if you aren't spending it all with some silly girl (I know you're smarter than that anyways); plus it will never work out (never has, never will). Just hang out with the people who seem the most interesting, but don't be afraid to go it alone now and then either. And hang out with you class now and then, this is your last big chance to bond with any of them.

*Try to avoid (and help others avoid) getting in fights or drama. It doens't matter and will just get in the way of your trip.

*Sleep on the bus, try to write in your journal and be introspective. You'll be so glad you did later on.

*Ride on a gondola! It's totally worth it! Try to get it in a group of four or five people from your class or something, that makes it cheaper. But it is so awesome and wonderful and you'll always remember it.

*Be careful on the dry luge, we've had way too many people scrape half their arm off. Trust me, that's no fun.

*Keep your passport and extra money underneath your clothes at all times. Don't be tempted to leave it hanging out and definitely don't leave it in your backpack. You always want to have that.

*LOOK FOR MUSIC STORES! I cannot emphasize this enough. I wish I had. Don't get in trouble, but if you can buy a cool import cd then by all means do it and hide it in your backpack (shhhhh) [our school isn't down with "rock music"]. But don't try to buy records, it isn't worth it (you can always get the store's internet or email address and order it when you get back if you need to).

*Write down names of cool places in your journal so you'll remember them if you go back. Try to meet people and give them your email address (but not home address) if you want so you can keep talking to them.

*Always keep your watch on and KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS! You do not want to get left anywhere, it will cost you tons of money, be a big hassle, and make me and mom worry. Always go to the meeting place a little bit early, if nothing else it gives you time to soak in the place and write in your journal before you leave.

*Whatever you do, whatever happens, don't let anything ruin your trip! This is the most important thing! If someone is mean to you, go sit somewhere else. If there's a cute girl and she's talking to someone else, get over it. IT IS NOT WORTH IT! I learned the hard way that feeling sorry for yourself because your best friend is hanging out with some guy and you don't have someone hot to chill with is not worth it. DO NOT FEEL SORRY FOR YOURSELF OR GET DOWN DURING THE TRIP! :) There are definitely a few days when I was grumpy that I wish I had just sucked it up, poked myself, said, "You're in EUROPE for gosh sakes! Go enjoy yourself!" You will always be glad for the things you did, not for the things you didn't do. And finally, don't get in trouble with the law and don't try and smuggle knives in. It's not worth getting arrested for! :) Have FUN!!!


Putting the Fling in Spring

It's here! After drenching the earth with its torrid rain and mean thunderstorming yesterday, the weather has recovered and spring is now floating around Lynchburg like a kid in an inner tube. Or something. Either way, I am quite happy that I can travel sans-coat to my daily destinations. As a matter of fact, this evening's place of venture is the Student Center, where I'm going swimming with Caleb! I love that you can go swimming and count it as working out. A great world we live in, indeed.

Snack of choice for the day--caramel rice cake and a glass of orange juice. Mmm. Is it sad that I really enjoy that? Have I become one of "those" people: the ones who get really excited about spinach salad with vinagarette dressing and a glass of water? Some call it boring, I call it healthy. Hmm...maybe I need to do an entry on my food position, because there's actually a lot of firm beliefs behind it. And I promise, they aren't boring.

I saw "Sideways" last night at the dollar theater with Steph and Caleb. It was incredibley real, in the best sort of way. It's one of those movies that you watch feeling as though you're sitting right there with the characters. It's funny how few movies do that to me anymore, in an age of so many technological advances. "Sideways" was extremely hilarous too, from the neurotic wine tastings to the "car accident." Go see it, it's fresh and honost and some amazing acting. I will go ahead and warn you, however, there is a really horrible scene with large naked trucker, so please close your eyes when Miles sneaks down the hallway at Carrie's house. (Trust me, you'll know.)

Anyway, try and catch it while it's still at the dollar theaters if you can, because it's really worth seeing on the big screen. Um, the movie--not the naked man. Dirty!

Sayonara winter, hellooooo spring!


I'm not completely insane...maybe just a little bit crazy

So I am back. Whew. It's already Tuesday night and I feel like I've only been in my house for an hour (which is pretty much true, excluding sleep). Caleb and I are sharing his truck right now, becuase my car is still in the shop. The whole living on different sides of town and using one vehicle thing is definitely not the best use of time, but I'm getting by. My days feel like they're shooting by like over-caffinated beverages, but I'm hoping the weekend will help me clean off some of my "to-do" plate--including the redesign of my website.

It's already 9:48. Time for bed!


the art box

First off, I just want to get this out of the way:

Caleb Jones is the best boyfriend on the planet.

Our 2 year Anniversary was on Sunday. I had to work that afternoon, so we decided to officially celebrate it on Monday evening (though we did get to hang out for a little bit on Sunday and made some really delicious chicken). When I came to pick him up on Monday afternoon (his truck is still in the shop), he was carrying a vase that held a dozen of the most beautiful roses--lavender, pink, and red. I was floored. They're amazing. I hardly knew what to do with myself. Then, after a stop by the used bookstore (where I bought three really awesome books to use as sketchbooks), we went to Red Lobster. I had some amazing crab legs and shrimp, and we talked about high school and prom for awhile (which was pretty funny). Later that night, we did the whole Gift Thing, and he gave me a really sweet letter and gift certificate to this really nice spa in Boonsburo. A spa! And I'm going to get a massage! Okay, I'm done now. No more schmoopy-ness. But dang, my boyfriend is awesome. Oh, and hopefully I'm pretty cool too--I got him "Exile on Main Street" by the Stones; Maroon 5's cd; a bottle of his favorite cologne from bath and body works; and a year's subscription to Muscle and Fitness (he already buys it every month, so I figured I'd save him the trouble).


It's funny how I've been realizing more and more that there is so much inspiration around me. I've always felt like the hardest thing to conquer was bein uninspired--but I've been too hard on myself! Inspiration comes from every day things--I don't need a sign from God or some exaqct picture of a painting; I just need the tip of a thought or idea! All i need is a color, a quote, a word, an object. There are so many untapped resources in my life right now and I feel like I finally have a bucket to empty them into. I went to this littlle art store in downtown Lynchburg with Caleb this afternoon and bought over fifty dollars worth of art supplies:

  • Art Tape
  • Wingate Paper Palette
  • 2 Sakura Micron ink pens
  • Spray Fixative
  • Color Wheel
  • Red, yellow, and blue Acrylic paints
  • 2 brush sets
  • X-acto knife
  • Two erasers

It was heaven. I suddenly want to roll in paints and brushes and canvas up to my eyeballs, until my hair is stained with ink and I'm covered in handmade paper and vintage fabrics. I want to stake out studio space and buy an easel and cover the floor with newspaper. I want a tub of gesso (paper primer) so big I can turn the whole world into a painting and I want a warm and cozy gallery filled with candles and chai and paint and brushes and I want to finally overcome this crazy rut that I stuck myself in. [deep breath] And I think I can do it.


Some News

So, it's been....well, a week. Oy. (Did I just say "oy"? I did.) In this past week I have:
--worked a bunch.
--finished a website.
--finished a flier for Relay for Life (to be posted shortly)
--moved a ginormous plasma tv across campus.
--watched half of Anchorman, Starsky and Hutch, and La Dolce Vita (yes, half of each of them. Don't ask).
--got in an accident (today. more on that later).
--got really angry at Staples (also more on that later).
--had a semi-snow day
--got accepted into Flagler! Yay!

Since I want to go to bed, here's a little something to tide you over until the next entry:

Random 10 Albums Semi-Sorta Randomly pulled from my collection (well, fairly randomly ... listed as they come to mind):
1. Alana Davis - Blame It On Me
2. The Velvet Teen - Elysium
3. Ben Harper - Burn to Shine
4. Frou Frou - Details
5. Death Cab for Cutie - The Forbidden Love EP
6. Neil Young - Greendale
7. Miles Davis - Miles Smiles
8. Jamie Cullum - Twentysomething
9. The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers, Some Girls, and Sucking in the Seventies (I know, that's three albums, but too bad)
10. The Beatles - Revolver

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
11.5 GB...something like 7 or 8 days. Mmmm, yes. And ovbviously I didn't buy all of it, but oh well. I'm not rich yet.

The last CD you bought is: Damien Rice - O. Technically, something else, but I can't say because it's for Caleb and he hasn't gotten it yet.

Five songs that you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
(I just did the top five "Most played" on my iTunes)

1. TKO - Le Tigre
2. Buised - The Bens
3. At Last - Etta James
4. When Pula Sparks - Copeland
5. I'd Rather Dance With You - Kings of Convenience