Monday, March 1, 2010

People have agreed to give their love away...I can't wait to be there in line.

I was looking through old pictures today and found this picture...

Not my greatest picture but what an exciting night!! That is Gabby on the far left, Thuy next to her. Me on the far right and Natalie next to me. In the center?!?! The lead singer (on the right) from Freshlyground and another band member, she plays all of the fun instruments like the violin (on the left).

So if you don't know who Freshlyground is, they are a band from South Africa. They actually started while all in school at the University of Cape Town where I was studying in 2008. In a neighborhood in Cape Town called Obs or Observatory, we ran into the two women on a night out. We had been at their concert a few nights before and so when we saw them walking down the street we just had to stop them for a picture.

I also found this short clip from the concert (it was taken by my friend Alexis). Just sitting here listening to it makes me happy and transports me back to South Africa. I hope you enjoy it too!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Ivy Briefs; True Tales of a Neurotic Law Student"



I just finished this book. Ahhh, it feels so good to finish a book, especially when sitting in a cabin in the snow by a fireplace.

I went to library last week not to get this book but one like it. I am contemplating going to law school. Dustin just mentioned the idea to me a month ago and as I spent the rest of that day thinking about the idea I grew to like it more and more.  In my mind, I would study for the LSATs get into Stanford Law School. Work hard and make the Law Review and then be hired by a big law firm that would help me pay off my student debt in two years flat because of the salary.

Well after that day reality somewhat set in. I realized the amount of debt I would incur. The struggles it would be to have a family and a full-time lawyer job. The reality that I really didn't want to live in California the rest of our lives. The money, time and stress I would have to put in to get a good, no great score on the LSAT.

Dustin found me some great study books and I set out to begin studying for the June LSAT. My mentality has been that I will take one step at a time. See how I do on the test and then use that as a determinant for my school applications.

Anyway I was at the library for a book about life in law school, ex. One L, forget what it would be like to be a lawyer, I wanted to find out if I liked the idea of spending 6 months studying and paying for the test etc. when the studies and school work didn't event sound fun.

I found this book "Ivy Briefs" by Martha Kimes and I couldn't put it down. Martha told of her experiences applying, attending and graduation from Columbia Law School. Throughout the entire book her experiences had me laughing and dreading law school at the same time. Her description of her first year of law school had me absolutely sure that I was not cut out for law. An entire year of 4 hours of sleep a night, 18 hours a day of studying and the never-ending competition between students. As if the homework wasn't enough, I had nightmares about being called on in a class where I couldn't even understand what the title of the class meant. Three years of torture all to end in the expectation that you still had to pass the bar exam. I kept pointing out intimidating facts to Dustin as I read. For example when Martha was taking the bar exam, the test was two days straight of 7.5 hour exams. Honestly!! No one should have to sit in a room writing essays to answer questions for that long.

Besides the scary parts, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about her clerkship, the law school journal experiences and moot court. I actually thought doing moot court would be fun. I have always enjoyed law and government. I participated in a Youth and Government Program in high school and in my senior year was elected supreme court judge but I have never been fond of being the attorney in a court presenting a case. I am not that outspoken and while I enjoy one-on-one conversations, in front of multiple people and when under pressure I turn beet-red and wish my life would come to an end.

Well I finished the book with an overall positive outlook on my chosen career. And now to the not so fun stuff of studying for the LSATs. Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The two week waiting period

I decided, after a weekend like the last, that every idea that either Dustin or I have has to make it through the two week waiting period. We can't act on this idea until the period has passed. I think this will save us a lot of money, frustration, stress, and anger.

The reason I came up with the the waiting period is because we decided to reupholster our couches this weekend. I know that is a daunting task but for some reason we thought it would be a good idea to do this the weekend before Dustin's parents came to town. In our defense it was very easy to take it apart and we thought we knew what we were doing.


This is just before beginning to demolish the couch. Here is the process!




Some of the fabric at the fabric store. What a fun trip to see rows and rows of bolts of beautiful fabrics. It was just so hard to choose.




















We started putting the first arm onto the couch. The hardest part of the job.
 










 


Finished!! Well almost...



























Going back to the two week waiting period. We still have the second, larger couch to finish and I don't think we realized what a big task this would be. But that will be for another weekend. Right now though I am proud of our work, just need to sew the pillows.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Prints, prints, prints...

I am obsessed with prints/posters, whatever you want to call them. I hope to someday have our house filled with graphic prints of every color and style. I especially like typography prints. So I thought I would share some of my favorites with you.






















The prints above are by Fabien Barral; http://cargocollective.com/fabienbarral


 This is a paper cut print by Julie Marabelle of NYC; http://www.famillesummerbelle.com



Who wouldn't want to ride a bike after seeing this print. Done by Brainstorm; http://www.wearebrainstorm.com/shop.html 



I love this screen print of Manhattan with all of the neighborhoods identified. Made by Ork Posters; http://www.orkposters.com/


 

JHill calls these 'A Toast To' posters. This one is 'A Toast To Japan' and tells the history of Karaoke in Japan; http://www.jhilldesign.com/collections/prints/Toast


 
I just love the playfulness of this print. Wouldn't it look great in a kid's room? Designed by ISAK; http://www.isak.co.uk

 
Sub-studio has prints that remind us of our childhood; http://www.sub-studio.com/




















And last but not least this genealogy tree from My Tree & Me; http://www.mytreeandme.com/

Spring Awakening

"SPELLBINDING...
with a melodic score that fuses ethereal pop and irreverent punk, the show is a giant leap forward for the rock musical. 'Spring Awakening' makes a powerful claim on the heart." - Washington Post

"BRAVE, HAUNTING & ELECTRIFYING...
'Spring Awakening' restores the mystery and the thrill to that shattering transformation that stirs in all of our souls. This gutsy new musical has a shivery sensual allure unmatched by anything in the theater right now." - New York Times


I am still haunted by the score every morning when I wake up and each night when I go to bed. It could be because I have been listening to the soundtrack non-stop but it could also be because the music attached to this interesting and way-out-there play is just enough different to my ears to continually leave me guessing and wanting more.

Anyway just for those who haven't seen the play, 'Spring Awakening' is based on a play written in 1891 in Germany. It was banned at the time from actually going public. Duncan Sheik composed the music to accompany the story from 1891 and Steven Sater wrote the lyrics. It is a typical coming of age story where teenagers are beginning to feel desire and become aware of the opposite sex.

While I found some scenes to be very awkward, I know that in some people's minds they are key to the story because they expose us to the raw emotions and experiences that are typical in the transition into adulthood. Regardless of that, however, the style of the play was absolutely unlike any other I have seen. Made up of a young cast except for a woman and a man who play all adult figures throughout the play, it is in typical rock style with jumping, head banging and all over invigorating dancing. The main characters when they begin to sing a solo will pull a mic out from behind their back or in their jacket pocket and immediately you are transported out of the 1890s era and into present day where the issues and emotions transcend time.

I asked Dustin as we left the show what he felt was the take-home. We talked as we walked and couldn't come to much of an answer but that issues that each of us have faced at one point or another should be spoken about out loud. I wasn't satisfied with this. Just a few days before I had seen 'Dead Poets Society' for the first time, and in the same way, was challenged by how to react. The things that have bugged me the most since seeing the show are the parents and teachers reactions to the youth. I justified it that it was in a different time, in the 1800s parents could be more strict and society undervalued and disrespected people under the age of 18. I don't think that the lessons learned from this show only apply to parents in the 1800s. We should realize that talking to our kids is the best way to ensure their safety and their success in life. Ignoring the fact that your child is getting older doesn't make them stop aging it just causes them to find out answers from other sources where the information is usually wrong or misguided. What I am talking about, just in case I need to clarify, is sex, sexual orientation, abuse and the ability and responsibility to speak up for what is right. Parents shouldn't be friends to their children but I don't think they should shy away from being honest and open about the transition into adulthood even though it may be awkward and uncomfortable. Parents shouldn't use their approval or love as a manipulating tool but instead should really listen and really try to understand what their child is going through and help them in every way possible. I might just be overreacting because both 'Spring Awakening' and 'Dead Poets Society' end with the death of a youth that could have been prevented if the parent cared less about their status in society and more about the anguish of the child. Oh well, I'll revisit this in 20 years when I have teenagers and just can't stand them :) Maybe my review will be different.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Our place in history

Watching the weather channel this morning just made me smile. A few weekends ago Dustin, Sam, Cassie and I were in Washington DC for sightseeing/auditioning trip. The weather was crisp but considered warm. But now...they have gotten 2 ft of snow over the night and it is around 20 degrees, ouch!!It looks like we chose the right weekend to go after all.

Now sitting in my warm apartment on this cloudy, but not snowy, day in Charlotte, sipping my coffee I am reminded of the day we went to the Holocaust Museum. What an amazing museum. If you haven't been, go. If you have, be like me and go again the first chance you get.

The museum was expertly designed to create an even flow through the exhibit. The artifacts on display, pictures, videos, sound bites, actual belongings of Holocaust victims and their oppressors/murderers, were all there for us to explore. Some of it I would rather have not know. For example they showed pictures of people, even children, who were subjects in medical experiments. Experiments including, seeing how long the body could handle frozen water, seeing how long the body can survive without food or water, and examining the effects of burns on the skin. These grotesque and evil experiments were horrible but do we owe it to the victims to share what horrors they lived and died through? I think this is why people keep coming back to the museum. Not because we really want to but because we have to know. We need to know what happened to justify in our minds the place America has in history as a super power. I do not believe from my limited eduction and experience that day at the museum that we, as America, did enough for the Jews but I do believe that the museum teaches us a lesson that no one should be treated like less than human. And we should do all in our power to stop regimes and people who do treat people that way.

As we left the museum behind and walked into the National Mall where the Capitol building and the Washington Monument flanked our sides, I thought...we should be doing more. Not in the name of democracy, or in the name of America, or even in the name of God but we should be doing more for each person out there who has no rights and has no hope.

On a brighter side (thank you for letting me rant a bit) here are some pictures from our trip.