Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Goal {Recap}

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Well guys. I had these goals you see. And, well... I sucked it  up. So much so that I almost didn't do this recap, but I figure, I cannot ignore it. I should talk about what happened. (psst. SPOILERS, life happened). But here we go:

*No Alcohol until September: I like a good beer. Or a good dirty gin martini. I have been a bartender. I appreciate fun mixed drinks. And all this is well and good, but Sometimes I (honestly) don't know what moderation is, and it has been weighing on me a lot lately. Just something on my mind. There are a lot of things personally I want to accomplish this summer, and I think removing alcohol from the picture would be a good way to clear my mind and give me a fresh perspective  Also, I really just like proving to myself that I can stick to goals, and have will power. It gives me a great sense of self, and I thrive on that.

*NOT COMPLETE* At all. Basically, in all honesty... I worked in a restaurant atmosphere, at the beach, with 18-23 year old people all summer long. And one brewed his own beer. An excuse? No, not at all. Did I have fun? Most the time. Did I meet lasting friends? Ill say, one. sure. 

* Financial goals. (and I just now because of spell check realized I spelled financial wrong on the image, and am wayyy to lazy to go back and edit it. whatever.) So, as I stated in a past post, my plans for this summer include work, and lots of it. I start today training at a breakfast diner (I have to do stints as a busser, hostess, and cashier), and by June will be serving there regularly  And its a fast paced place, with good tips to be made, so there is that. Otherwise,  I am searching still for a night serving position, but have applied man places. These two avenues combined all summer, I hope to be able to pay off both my credit cards ($4500+), Pay back my mother ($2000+), save money for a plane ticket for myself and Nigel to the west coast in the fall ($350+) and stock away savings for a few months rent and deposit wherever I plan to move to ($2750+). I have four months to get this accomplished, and I do think it is feasible. Added bonus if I save enough to have a little pocket for a new car once back out west...I think also, as a last little footnote, that this will be the summer to get my tattoo. Or maybe it will be an end of summer reward. carry on now...

*NOT COMPLETELY* Which implies, that yes I got some of this done. I bought a car. I got all  my shit to the east coast. I paid my mom back $1000. I paid down Credit Cards (a little). I bough a ticket to Seattle in November for a wedding. I put aside some money for my move to Asheville. Nigel now lives with me here in Pawleys, but I owe someone money for that (...Nick, Ill never NOT owe you money, it seems). It happens. But, not a total loss.

*Books! So, this is a smaller goal, which I think is important in the midst of loftier goals...but, I brought home  five books with  me that were in my collection, but I had not had the chance to read yet. I would simply over the course of the summer, read and enjoy these books. They are:Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, What is the What and A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers, The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, and Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins.

*NOT COMPLETE* So okay. I read non of these books. Well, I read HALF of the Dave Eggers. This isn't to say I didn't read this summer, it just proves you cant really (or I cant) dictate what I am going to be in the mood for all summer long. I Read Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. If you haven't read it, DO IT. So good. NOTHING like the movie that used the book as a (very loose) backbone. Great food and travel writing. I devoured every book written by John Green (The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines, Will Grayson Will Grayson, Let It Snow) and am currently waiting to read Looking for Alaska by the same author. Now, these books are all Young Adult, and I loved them. Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars being my favorites. I had always been a fan of John Green (kinda a dream man of mine) from his VlogBrothers series on youtube. Or Mental Floss. Or Crash Courses. You pick. all. are. brainy. and. wonderful. I had been meaning to take a peek at his writing for a while, and then was handed Paper Towns by a new friend this summer and (with the encouragement that I reminded him of one of the main characters) I dug right in. Beyond that I re-read the Little Prince, HP1, and two Salinger. So, not a total loss. 

*Tech cut back. Now, this may seem silly, as I am getting this blog going again, but it cutting out certain areas, to let other areas flourish  I recently erased my facebook app, my facebook messenger app, and my gchat app. You can obviously still text me or call me. This is just eliminating checking all those stupid things, as well as making it so yes, I am still available, but no not by every means possible. removing the clutter. In the same vain, I will be updating this blog a good bit, but don't plan to otherwise be on facebook really at all. of course there will be times, and I will still check it, but I don't plan on doing big status updates, etc. On the other hand, I will be writing letters and emails all summer long. So there is a use for facebook y'all, send me your mailing address and we can become pen pals! and since I wont be on facebook a lot, the updates you tell me in letters will actually be updates! Isn't that grand? As for other technologies... instagram, vine, and twitter. I'm keeping them...for now.

*KINDA COMPLETE?* I mean, I kept facebook off my phone. and Face book messenger. and Gchat. I have written a few handwritten letters this summer. I updated the blog, but not a TON. But I def. was still on Facebook on my laptop a good bit. Eh. *shrugs* I guess I didn't feel consumed by it all, so that is a win. 

*Focus on me. What do I mean by this? I just mean that in between all the work, and reading, and such that I take the time and just... clean out my head. I don't know a whole lot of people here in Pawleys, and while at first I was looking at this as a negative, I think I am going to use the chance to just...get to know me again. I am over analytic, stressed, and have a bit of Monica Geller syndrome in my current life. These are all things that have popped up or grown as I have gotten older. I just want to take this summer to both sort these things out (and calm them down a notch) as well as make peace with them. Easier said than done, when you are a judgmental cynic. (hey everyone, you know all that critique I throw around in life? Just know that I throw it at myself 10x worse. Yeah, sucks, right?)

*COUNTING THIS AS COMPLETE* You know what? Yeah. I mean, Ill ALWAYS have a zillion tings going on i my head, but overall my stress level and such has def. been pulled back. I have taken money issues with a lot more ease. I have read more and gone to the beach and just sat there more than i have in a long time. I went running ( big stuff) pretty regularly for a while, and simply to get out and clear my head. so yeah. WIN.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Song of the Summer, Katie style

So as the summer ends, you always hear and see these posts about 'songs of the summer'. I wanted to simply take a moment and share with you all what my song of the summer was. No, It wasn't 'Blurred Lines' by Robin Thicke, or 'We can't stop' By Miley Cyrus. My song of the summer actually came out 13 years ago. But, sometimes you just play a song, on repeat, more times than you would like to admit. And for me this summer, it was D'Angelo's 'Untitled (How does it feel?).' Below is the video. You're welcome. (The one downfall of the video? It is the radio version, clocking in at only just over 4 minutes. He album track is over 7 minutes, and WORTH. EVERY. MINUTE.)

Happy Friday y'all. Make it a good weekend.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Oh hey guys. Let me quickly reference where I was the last time I caught you all up.... Oh wow. It's been A WHILE. I mean, this one KINDA counts, but really this was just me showing you a few pictures of shenanigans I had gotten into, and not really a recap of where I had been , or where I was heading....My bad. I'll look to correct that, starting now. So where does that leave me to begin?


As you may (or may not have?) realized, I have been living in Coastal South Carolina for the entire summer. At my parents house. Which I haven't lived at for 10 years. It has been weird, to say the least. My original plan was to leave all my stuff in Seattle (check!) sell my car on the West Coast (check!) fly home to SC for the summer (check) get a job, work, save, live rent free (check, check, check) and then fly back to the west Coast in late August to start a life over in that area of the country. (not. so.check). You would think, after 5+ years of moving about, randomly, that I would know myself well enough that I wouldn't make 'plans' for something that was 4-5 months down the road...but, alas.

About halfway through the summer I took a trip to Asheville, NC and it hit me that I wanted to call that city home. More than Portland or Seattle or any other smaller town on the West Coast. Asheville is about 5-6 hours from my parents house on the coast of SC, is in the mountains, has a great outdoor scene, lots of local breweries, and in general is an cute as hell town, and a great size. (Also, four seasons, great music, good food trucks, brick buildings....yeah). I discussed much of this with my sister Hayley, and she agreed that Asheville sounded like a good fit, and wanted to move with me. I knew I had a few obstacles to work through (a music festival in Atlanta I already had ticket for mid September. A gig house sitting the beginning of September in a close town on the coast. A cousin's wedding in Seattle the beginning of November. A camping trip throughout the PNW the beginning of October.) So I started brainstorming.

I had a new plan, which included moving to Asheville in November after the wedding. Then work started sucking (fiscally and otherwise) so I quit, mid August. This changed things. I immediately bought a ticket to Seattle, flew out late August, bought a car in 4 days, and then began my drive back across the country, new car packed full of all the stuff  left there 4 months earlier on its way to a new home.

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Travel time again! and a S'more cupcake outta Springfield, MO
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My new Lady, a 2004 Subaru Outback (so fancy!) and me atop the Flat Irons in Boulder, CO
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What? Katie's shoes in a undisclosed location? (Montana), Tubing with friends on the Wyoming/Utah Boarder

The new plan was this: House sit for a few days. Go to music festival. Get PFD from Alaska deposited the beginning of October, and move immediately after that to Asheville, having to give up my PNW camping trip, but hoping to still have money enough for my cousins wedding in November. Well then I got two tickets for expired plates on the drive cross country. And unfortunate circumstances canceled my housesitting gig. I was now back on the coast, SUPER in debt, without a job for a month, scraping together money for rent and deposit in Asheville. 

I applied for a barista position I saw on craigslist. Figured, hey, why not. Work a month there (don't tell them that till I'm hired) make some extra cash, and be on a little better footing before moving in a month. done.

I go in for a interview at a local boutique that wants to also become a coffee bar (which we lack in these parts). I can walk to it from my house. The interview? 'Can you make me an espresso drink?'. Immediately I know that this is more than a barista position. They need my help. They explain they love coffee, know nothing about it. Want to hire me as someone who creates their coffee menu, sets price points, makes list of what they need to order. Hires other baristas and trains them. I know I cannot give them just a month, we talk. We strike a deal. I give them TWO MONTHS, get the ball rolling, set up a coffee bar for them, they pay me WELL and (under the table). So, now I have a new plan. I get a chance to create something new (which really excites me) without having to use my own money (more exciting) and come November 10th, I'm done. Hayley and I head to Asheville. I still get to go to my music festival in Atlanta. I still get to go to the wedding in Seattle the beginning of November. I will have money to live off of in Asheville while getting my footing, and I may even sneak in a Neutral Milk Hotel show in ATL mid October. It  took a lot for me to push back leaving Pawleys (it kills my soul a bit) but as long as I'm doing something worth while, and making $$$ I can give up another month. To quote the basement wall in Egypt: 'Oh life, stop being so funny.'

So, that's where I am at. In the GRAND scheme of things. (I also have this little item going on, but no updates as of yet). I have a  few more posts coming up to detail some smaller events that have happened over the last few months, but I figured a general catch up was due. I leave you with my favorite portion of Wallace Stevens 'Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird', a poem I was reminded of recently while reading a good  book :D

I do not know which to prefer,   
The beauty of inflections   
Or the beauty of innuendoes,   
The blackbird whistling   
Or just after.   

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Liebster Award (man this entry has a shit ton of links!)

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One of the great things about this 'award', and being nominated by the lovely Anna (thank you, again!) is seeing the other great blogs she nominated! Seeing real life amazing friends/women get recognized is pretty much the shit. (I'm looking at you A Life Less Ordinary and SEW much heART). 

The other things though, that it makes me realize, is that I do not follow any smaller blogs other than those I know in real life. I haven't done this on purpose, obviously, it is just how blogs have been weeded out in my life. I would LOVE to hear about blogs I SHOULD be following though, obviously. Lay 'em on me.

Liebster rules! (This is also a great little blurb explaining that it is, simply, small bloggers recognizing other small bloggers. I mean, what could be so bad about that!?)
**Thank the person that nominated you and link back up to their blog.
**Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
**Nominate some unknown number of other blogs with less than 200 followers, unknown because some say 10, others 11, others less.
**Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
**Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them, including a link back to your post.

Here are the questions from Maple and Me and my answers.
1. What is your favorite season?
Oh most definitely Fall....and I am SO excited to get to experience it again! Asheville, ready for this...., IT HAS ALL FOUR SEASONS. Crazy, right? So I am sure I will have a ridiculous amount of pictures of the colors of changing leaves and all the other grand features of the fall season.

2. What is your go-to comfort food?
Mac and Cheese, hands down. I never tire of it. ep. since I am not a big pasta eater in any other way, but man, there is no 'full' when it comes to some home made Mac and Cheese (or who am I kidding? I love me some Kraft blue box too.)

3. What is one skill you are working on right now?
Does patience count? That pretty much a constant in my life. Along with 'heeding my own advice'. As for a physical or tangible skill, I've been baking up a storm. Trying to learn to trust my baking instincts and such.

4. What teaches you patience?
Baking. Money. Life. 

5. Who is your fashion role model?
This is a very hard question, it changes so much. I have the standard fashion blogs I follow such as 
Orchid GreyDelightfully Tacky, and Atlantic-Pacific, but as for a general fashion role model, I would say I'm too fickle to keep to one. I constantly find someone new (real person, or movie character) who I want to emulate and build off of. I would say the most recent(s) would include: Lizzie Caplan's Character in 'Save the Date', and New England yuppie culture. yepp you heard right.

6. Do you have a particular blog that you really admire? If so, which one?
I have three that I absolutely love the writing and the voice that comes through... the first would be 
Joy the Baker. just read ANY of her entries. I went looking through them for extra special, and really, they all are just so wonderful! Something is to be said for having no signs of pretentiousness. The second is Kendi Everyday (who had always been a standard b/c of her simple writing tone that was honest, but she won me over with THIS post), and finally Big Bang studios whose pictures and words are pure art. Just take a look at THIS and THIS and not fall in love. 

7. When you were younger what did you want to do when you were older? How do that differ (or coincide) from what you’re doing now?
I just had this lovely conversation with a new acquaintance two days ago, and in it he pointed out that 'what we wanted to be when we grew up' most likely hasn't changed. Now you man feel 'well, yes it has!' but think about it, most likely, you still would LOVE to be that, you just grew up and pushed it aside, or thought it too fanciful, or were told to be more realistic, or maybe even thought 'that isn't REALLY a job'. When I was younger, I distinctly remember three phases I went through: I wanted to be a Paleontologist, I wanted to be a Lawyer, and then I wanted to be a Journalist. Off the bat, all of these things seem like nothing I would want to do NOW, but if i think back to WHY i chose these in the first place, it totally makes sense. 
**I wanted to be a Paleontologist because you got to discover things! and you got to be in the dirt! and it was an answer that NO OTHER CHILD was going to have. SO that was an INSTANT win.
**I wanted to be a Lawyer because they got to make things right, solve mysteries, and complete puzzles.(yes, solve mysteries. I never wanted to be an investigator, or cop, or such, b/c they had guns, and could get hurt. I have always been a complete wuss.)
** I wanted to be a journalist because at the time I was really into writing poetry, and submitting pieces to magazines. And more than that, I was told I was GOOD AT IT.  Remember those children poetry contests in magazines? I cant remember the name but they were EVERYWHERE. I def. submitted to those. I even wrote a poem and read it to my 4th grade class as a 'goodbye' to them when I moved to South Carolina. 
...So I want to make things right, solve puzzles, play in the dirt, discover new thing, get recognition for being good at what I do, and have it be something that your standard person wouldn't dream of doing. You connect the dots.

8. What is your guilty pleasure?
I use this term all the time, but I DO hate it. It shouldn't be guilty. Fuck that. Just fully own up to liking it. an move on. Just because you love documentaries about pop stars (me) doesn't mean you don't also love the feeling of completing a Wed-Sunday NYT crossword (also me). But, as a general question, those things that other might consider guilty pleasures would include:
**90s R&B
**Celebrity Gossip Blogs
**Grocery store Hot bars
**YA literature
**Broadway Musical Soundtracks
**Early 2000s Pop-Punk (Something Corporate, Brand New, Fall Out Boy, Say Anything, Taking back Sunday, Saves the Day, The Academy Is... Any of there first Albums) (really, most of the music I enjoy could be considered a guilty pleasure by SOMEONE)
** Gas station cappuccinos

9. What was one piece of art that was incredibly formative to you?
Oh Man. This is such a good question. I really wish I remembered further back. I have never been one for images of the Madonna or religious works. Color and shape have always pulled me in, and Klimt and Kandinsky have always been at the forefront of my mind.  When it comes to written word, I have always been the kid who listened to the lyrics in songs. Some people were poetry readers from an early age, and even though I had my favorites, I didn't dive into that form. I had music, and lyrics, and that was my poetry. I very vividly remember as a young child (under age 9) going on car rides with my dad, just driving for drivings sake, and he would be blasting music, and then a song would come on and he'd tell me to 'just listen to the words'. It as breed into me.

10. What are three things you are grateful for right now?
**Having amazing friends around the globe
**Getting the chance to start fresh in a month
**Becoming better at articulating myself

And Since I do not have anyone new to nominate, I figured I would leave these questions here, and if you want to answer them, DO IT. Do it in the comments, do it in your own blog and link back to me, write me an email and answer them. I love reading responses, and would love to see yours!

1. Would you rather live one 1,000 year life or live ten 100 year lives?
2. If you had to watch one movie and only one movie for the rest of your life what would it be?
3. If you could have only one food on a desert island what would it be?
4. What is your favorite food to cook?
5. The last book you read was….
6. Best compliment you've ever received
7. Which is the best city in the world?
8. Show me a pictures of three stunningly beautiful things (to you)
9. You discover that your wonderful one year old child isn't yours because of a mix up at the hospital. Would you want to exchange the child to “correct the error” and have child your biological child?
10. What is something you struggle with daily?