Saturday, April 29, 2017

Back to the Grind.

I've bean hooked on it since the wee age of two.

Baby hands grasping for that Starbucks cup, my signature line of request: "Some! Some!"

And from that sip of tan mocha, I was mad about coffee.

So it would only seem fitting that I work in a coffee shop, right? Coffeeholic who feels that her days aren't complete without that heavenly cup of joe definitely belongs in a coffee shop.

So at fifteen, I was hired at Kaladi Brothers Coffee, an Alaskan based coffee roasting company. I've worked on and off for the company for the past six years now and every time I step behind bar, things just come rushing back to me.

How I am able to remember a regular's sixteen ounce quad shot white mocha breve with natural caramel and vanilla with whip is beyond me, but it's ingrained in me somehow!

It's been my third week back and boy am I pleased to be working again. I've never gone this long without working since I was first hired, and I never thought I would say it, but I enjoy working.

There's something about the relationships you form with customers and the sharing of stories over cups of lovely lattes. I don't even consider it "work" because I genuinely adore the creation of espresso beverages. 

Honestly, when I graduated, I never thought I would be back here, but circumstances changed and I'm happy to have a home that welcomes me back with open arms. 

I still don't know where I'll be in a couple of months, which is still rather exciting, as well as scary. 

In the beantime though, I'm back to the grind and sharing my passion for coffee with my fellow Alaskans. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy (B)EarthDay.

Growing up in Alaska has undoubtedly exposed me to some of Earth's finest assets.

I live within a paradise relatively untouched by man. Of a wild, remote, and rugged land that never ceases to awe me.

Our timber frame home sits on the bank of the Kenai River, which is home to world record king salmon. I live within miles of glaciers, of oceans filled with halibut, whales, otters, and more. Eagles fly past my window every day, and just yesterday, our neighborhood moose came to pay us a visit.

I go to sleep to the sound of silence and wake to the chirping of birds. Pretty soon, we'll have a garden filled to the brim with fresh produce, berries will be plump to the touch, and we'll be living exclusively off the land.

I could go on and on about how special Alaska is to me, but it really won't do a darn thing unless you come and visit!

Anyhow, today is Earth Day, and I was so excited for it to be so.

You see, I haven't experienced an Alaskan spring for the past couple of years, and so I've been quite immersed in this change of the seasons. Thinking of ways to celebrate Mother Earth's day, I decided to pick up trash.

With the meltdown of the snow comes the unearthing of what's been hidden all these wintry months, and most of it.... is trash.

It's quite pitiful. And sad. Frankly, it just doesn't belong on Earth's surface. Following the lead of others who had the same genius idea, I was just beginning my trash pickup, when I realized I had to work.

Sooooo that didn't last long.

But there's always tomorrow and it's the thought that counts!

Anyhow, I can't thank Earth enough for her bountiful gifts she has bestowed upon me during my life. I'm especially grateful to be living in such a pristine part of the world, where the lifestyle is complimentary to Earth's aesthetic. (and where the common Alaskan hobbies include fishing, hunting, hiking, etc.)

Cheers to you, and Happy (B)EarthDay.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Wonder Woman.

It was the most fitting way to end a date.

I was driven home and was so kindly waited upon as the gentleman made sure I made it to the front door safely, flashlight illuminating my path.

Unfortunately, it wasn't my date who exemplified these courteous gentlemanly qualities, but my Uber driver.

And it was after the date I instigated and the NBA tickets I purchased (though he offered), that I was let off a half hour away from home that I realized that this was not the guy for me.

Those weren't the only signals I received that led me to this conclusive decision.

Throughout the evening, I was constantly given mixed vibes.

Aside from being greeted with a hug and the signature "Wow, you are tall" comment (like it's a flaw on my part), I was given some very deterring advice on the subject of moving to the city.

From that, I was suggested to be more of a hustler, that I should try dating apps (wait, were we not on a date?!), and at the very end, a hug and a "Next time you're in the city, I'll introduce you to some friends."

Annnnnnnnnd friend-zoned.

Granted, I do not know the circumstances of his feelings. While there was a wee bit of an age difference, I was attracted to him and unfortunately, he didn't feel the same.

Which is fine.

But the rejection sucks. It leaves you disappointed, hurt, susceptible to bouts of tearful outbursts, and has you wondering "Why? What's wrong with me?"

For a brief period, you wish his name would disappear from your mind, which actually further cements it, and then that stage turns into anger.

After anger comes the hopeful reconciliation thought process and finally, the "Boi, Bye" phase that has you pulling on your Beyoncé pants and moving on.

If you're like me, you experience them in the course of mere minutes. And being the sensitive and emotional young woman I am, I'm left over-thinking and at a crossroads as to how to go forward next. Do I text him? Why hasn't he texted me? Should I convey hurt, disappointment, rage, or should I pretend that that didn't just happen?

In my experience though, I've found that when I'm in a situation such as this: hurt, lost, and in a topsy-turvy state, I simply let things simmer.

I allow a few days to pass, I take a walk, talk to those closest to me (you know who you are), and eventually, I'm comfortable, clear-minded, and ready to communicate or simply move on.

I've found that in any of the above stages, my mind is muddled and that when I act upon my initial reaction, things never go well.

In the instance/case of being patient, I either communicate back with clarity with the proper thing to say, or I move forward, a more experienced and confident woman.

As much as I hurt at the time of rejection, I always appreciate the experience and what it has taught me about myself and men. I'm new to the dating scene (no surprise there), entering the stage and learning my lines. It's foreign to me, but so exciting! And all these dates have taught me what I do/don't like, and how I should be treated as the brilliant woman I am. With that, my girl jams playlist continues to grow with each and every experience.

I'm learning to live my life and start my fairytale when I meet the right guy, as opposed to attempting to squeeze a guy into my pre-conceived notion as to how my fairytale should be.

Until that, I'll let those tears dry and I'll continue to take these escapades in stride. Embrace them for what they are: experiences, and lessons learned.

Who knows? Maybe someday it'll be my date and not my Uber driver that takes care of me on the way home.

In the meantime, I'll embrace my inner Wonder Woman and be the superhero I know I am.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Where the Weed Blows..

I don't say this often, if ever. But yesterday, I smelled weed and for once in my life, I agreed that it fit the scene.

I was one of the many who had flocked to the de Young Museum to check out their new groovy exhibition: The Summer of Love Experience.

Although I signed up for it via FIDM's Alum Event, I had seen advertisements for it before, in London out of all places! I remember fondly looking at the posters and wishing I could attend and some months later, I was one of the many cats coming to see it.

With focus on art, fashion, and rock & roll, I was taken back in time and transported to a city rich in rebellion and thirsty for change.

Psychedelically engaging, it completely hooked me. Whether it was the brilliantly colored posters, the Grateful Dead playing in the background, or complete immersion in the sensations of LSD (but not literally), I felt captured and my heart was once again stolen by San Francisco's rich history.

Looking about, the patronage of the exhibition was mostly older, and one of my most memorable parts of the experience was talking with an older gentleman about the connotation of the hippies.

I think he may have lived in San Francisco during the fab Summer of Love in 1967, for he was reminiscing about his friend "Danny Buttons" who was known for his denim jacket smothered in buttons and pins, and how these hippies were really on the forefront of change during the late sixties, but were instead remembered as being loose, laid back, free, flowy dressed, "free the nipple" types of people, detached from being a traditional citizen. 

But being a hippie wasn't about dressing a certain way, it was about having a certain attitude. They came together through their passion for change: artistically, politically, and culturally. And during the Summer of Love, these like-minded individuals came from all over the country to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, which would become one of the most iconic spots during the 1960's counterculture movement.

I don't think it could've come at a more opportune moment, this revolutionary exhibition. Fifty years later, I think these issues are just as prevalent and that another generation of young people will come forth to take action on concerns that matter most: social justice, awareness of the natural world, inclusiveness, and an attitude of participation.

And with weed now legal in some states...

When I finished, my perception and interpretation of the hippie was greatly smooshed and I was left feeling appreciative for those individuals back then, and still out there, that behave in the greater good of spreading awareness and promoting distinctive individuality.

It was definitely an experience in itself, and I can't help but wonder when the next revolution will come, for without a doubt, the times they are a-changing...

do your own thing: hippie is more than a way of dressing. it's a spirit which fills young people.
- Yves Saint Laurent, July 1978

the poster shop: freaky, funny, and fashionable, these are the signs of our times.
-Herbert Gold, Satruday Evening Post, 1968

put you in the mood: the Deadhead is that person (who) wherever they turn up in society... is looking for an adventure in America, you know, something to do that is not like (what) everyone else does, and the chance to get out and scare themselves a little.
-Jerry Garcia, early 1970's

what are we fighting for? every time I hear revolution, I hear evolution alongside it.
-Lenore Kandel, Voices From the Love Generation, 1968

Just remember:

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Breakup.

The relationship lasted six months.

It was glorious at times, and at others, I didn't want to leave the house.

Alas, a few weeks ago, the time came where I had to say goodbye, officially.

And so one chapter ended and the other one began.

It wasn't the first time I had gone through this before, but it had been awhile.

It was: the breakup.

Officially in full swing, temperatures have risen and the ice has begun to melt as winter gives way to spring and the breakup comes bumbling in.

You thought I had a real life breakup, didn't you? Tricked you....

What started as the little things, like the sun going down later than usual and the grass peeking from behind mounds of melted snow, very quickly turned into the big bad breakup that happens every year round this time.

In fact, it's said that April is one of the "ugliest" months in Alaska, on account of the breakup. While it's... rough in appearance, I don't necessarily deem it ugly because the prospect of spring is far too overpowering.

One thing that came out of this breakup that I simply must share with you is the emergence of one particular tree.

Me and my fasciation with trees.

I believe it was the wind that knocked this baby down, but the peculiar thing about this tree is its eerie appearance. Wedged between two other trees, it scarily resembles the stick figures like the ones seen in The Blair Witch. You'll see the commonalities.

Anyhow, it is officially that time of year and while it's bittersweet to say goodbye to winter, I'm excited to see what spring has to offer.

Am I right, or am I right?

Image result for blair witch stick figures

And the melting continues..

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Surprise, Surprise.

After careful and meticulous planning, my dad and I successfully pulled off a surprise visit to see my sister perform in South Dakota, in the show "The Marvelous Wonderettes."

Things lined up perfectly, I must say. I sent timed photos of the cat to my sister (to trick her), and we had this genius meetup at an antique store, where my mom (who was already there) was supposed to meet "someone."

So after the brutal red eye flight, my dad and I snuck into this store, where my sister was in the dressing room trying on clothes, and we simply went "surprise surprise!"

There were tears, of course. Hugs all around and the sensation was priceless cause she hadn't suspected a thing!

From there, we saw not one, but two of her shows, which were thoroughly entertaining.

It was an incredibly short trip where I feel like I spent more hours traveling then actually in Vermillion, but it was well worth it.

To see how much she's grown as a performer brings tears to my eyes! There's my sister, second year in college, in a lead role in a very wonderful production. It brought back memories from when we performed together back in the day, and I was reminded how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to see her in a production, one in which she did so well in.

Truly, what a marvelous and wonderful performance Alyeska...

We've got Mom, Grandma, star "Cindy Lou", myself, and Pops..

What a supportive boyfriend!

And the cast of "The Wondrous Marvelettes"!