a letter to my hair

{preface: 1. this was originally written may 15th...the day it happened! 2. there are approximately a billion photos of me in this post. i'm feeling sheepish posting so many of them, but zach is getting good with the camera and i wanted to take photos of my hair before i did anything. they turned out really well (thanks zachary!) and i have fun editing stuff that wasn't client-related. as i explained my hesitation of posting them to jeff, he said, "we photogs don't get to be in the front very often so, yeah, i totally get your excitement." i know a bunch of you requested photos, so here they are. forgive me this one time for the excess. maybe it makes up for my current lack of NY pictures...heh.}

dear long hair,

we've been great pals for years now. in fact, i haven't cut you since 7th grade (when i let that lady who didn't speak english...bless her heart...cut you...i've never let any shears get you past my shoulder since). i've loved you and cared for you.

i like you in ponytails, pigtails, straight, curly, and wavy. up, down, this-and-that...those days you make me look like rapunzel (thanks, sara =D). it's especially fun to flip you around or feel you blow in the wind (especially while i run or in the car with windows down!). we've had good times.

before i knew it, you grew to be about 28 inches. however, you were kind of heavy (no offense, hair, i know you take pride in being thick) and i'd get headaches. i got super busy and i didn't get to trim you often or make you super pretty. although when i did, i loved doing it.

i talked about cutting you for a long while, but people kept talking me out of it. pretty soon, no one took me seriously about cutting you. but that was okay.

i had heard about locks of love. i found out that they take donated hair and make wigs out of it, specifically for children 18 and under, who don't have any hair due to disease and other health-related problems. it says, i saw the before/after photos of the recipients of the kids. it says,
 "The children who receive these hairpieces have lost more than their hair; they suffer from a loss of self. Many children have been teased by classmates and/or embarrassed by the attention they receive because of their hair loss. They often will withdraw from normal childhood activities such as swimming, going to the mall or even playing with their friends. While wearing a hairpiece is certainly not a cure for these children, it can help restore some of the normalcy to their everyday lives that most of us take for granted." (via here.)

with my new york trip coming up, i didn't want to have to worry about you in the mornings, and felt this was a very worthy cause. so, i decided that i'd do it. i know that it was scary for us both, but i think we were excited.

so, hair, i gave zach the camera (so thank him for the great photos!) and was expecting a before/after shot. but he decided to document the entire process! so here's how it went down, in picture form:

1-- i wouldn't have just trusted anyone to cut you this dramatically. so i got natalie. she. was. amazing.
2-- so, hair, with locks of love, you need to be a ponytail or a braid, so she just cut that off first.
3-- halfway through cutting, she had to get a bigger or sharper pair of scissors because you were so thick. that made me happy...you should be proud. :)
5-6 -- between these, i walked to the sink and could not believe how much lighter my head felt!! it was incredible!
7--  natalie was so great. about three times, she gladly cut the entire length of my hair shorter upon my request. (if anyone is thinking of cutting their hair, they should talk to me and i'll recommend her. she even gave me a two-week policy where i could go back and have her fix anything i didn't like. for awesome!)
11-12 --  she then styled it and taught me fun tips and tricks on styling techniques. these photos don't even show how high she got my you, hair...i looked like jon bon jovi. rock on.

i really wish these photos blew up more; they're great shots.

*author's note: there are many more 'before' photos than there are 'afters'. i figure that because it's what i look like now, so 'after' is now 'current' and ... yeah. you get the idea. (?)

and here are the official "after" shots (see above note). in addition to that note, i didn't really have time to take after photos- i cut this just days before my trip to new york. i didn't tell a lot of people previously to cutting you, just so i wouldn't get talked out of it and to add a fun surprise element to seeing friends before i head(ed) to NY. i'm sure you understand.

so. thanks, long hair, for willing to be donated. i'm sure you'll make some little child very happy! and i'll see you again, i'm sure. short hair is pretty fun, but i'm blessed to have the option.


(you know. the person that was underneath you all those years)


the other side

i have  a lot of posts written, but my camera card still isn't reading on my computer! i'll have to check to see if i can get a card reader from a store here (i tragically left mine at home).

just wanted to share a somewhat sobering experience real quick, that happened on the subway yesterday. i wrote about it in my little travel journal immediately after:

after a bunch of transfers, i got settled onto the F-train headed to brett's. immediately after i got in, a skinny man in a blue shirt and jeans came and stood directly in front of me, but perpendicular to my direction (facing the general car). he started talking to all of us in his thick new york accent:
he said that he wasn't one for begging for money. he prefaced his speech with something about how this is new york and people begging for money have corrupted new york as they just buy alcohol with their little money. he said that he doesn't do drugs (and repeated this statement multiple times). "if any of you have any extra food, though, anything, i would be so appreciative. you see, the YMCA doesn't include food. if i can round up $27, that's a full bed & breakfast. but really, any food or anything would be so appreciated." 
he said more than this, but it was all so sudden and unexpected that i can't even remember it all. he held with him a sign that explained his situation and a small paper sack, looking close to empty.

at the end of his plea, a man across from me gave him a small bag of nuts or something, and the petitioner looked so thankful and expressed his gratitude. he then looked over at me and we locked eyes for a second, as i was the only other one rummaging in my bag - - - but i felt like he didn't want to pressure me so he looked away, thanked everyone (though he only got one item), and exited.

please don't tell me that he was probably a schemer or to ignore this because it'll happen all the time (it already has); regardless of my happy, middle-class upbringing, i'm not ignorant. but i just felt that this man was truly sincere. even if he wasn't, how sad to be in a situation have to beg like that...?

as he left, i was sad to realize i did have a small water bottle, and also sad he left before i could offer it up.

so, i gave him what i could: a small but heartfelt prayer to God that if this man's heart and intentions were pure, he'd find what he needs.


the streets of new york are filled with apparent beggars and people who are less fortunate. there are people all over the world who struggle. i've passed many people on the street in similar situations. one yesterday struck me: a girl sat with a sign reading, "homeless, poor, and pregnant, please help". tonight i saw a man in the park struggling with tons of plastic to recycle, just to make some money. so many people struggle and i don't often see this in my home state.  so, if you're religious (or even if you're not), could you maybe stop today, right now - - for about a minute and say a prayer for them? it just might help.



it was day 4 of NY (tuesday), but really, the last verse here tells more about it than anything. 

it was the first day on the job with brett.
my first day riding the metro all alone.
i was...kind of nervous. 
shelley was a sweetheart and mapped everything out for me, and we discussed how to get to and from where i needed to be. i was confident that i could do it, but obviously a bit hesitant about what to expect. 
on the way to the metro, i talked to big brother alan, who helped me feel better.
then i was on my own.
got to station. waited for subway.
it came. let it go. wasn't sure if that was the right one.
got a tad jittery, shook that off.

one woman asked me if i knew what train just passed, and i told her it was the b-train. she thanked me and sat down. 
i hesitated, then asked her to clarify what train i should be waiting for. 

she gladly explained all she knew and we continued to have a good conversation about the day, how we wish there was an extra half-day's worth of time on mondays and other such things.
i bid her farewell.
she got on the next train.
got on next train with little worries.
except for the small wonder of "how do i know when to get off?"
looked around.
dude on right? 
girl across isle? 
lady to the left? 
...yeah. try her. 'excuse me, i have a question....'

she spent about ten minutes pouring over the small subway map with me and going through all my various options. super helpful. by this point, i felt good enough to even venture different routes to my locations. 
thanked her. 
she got off.

i had some time, so i opened a book and started to read to relax a bit. 
then i saw 4 clean-cut kids get on, around my age. i could easily see them going to my university. 
this helped a bit. 
another stop.
i stayed on and others got off, allowing these kids to sit. 
i glanced up, since they already held a bit of my interest, to see where they sat, and saw a girl next to them and right across from me, reading the book of mormon
this made me so relieved and happy, i almost laughed out loud.

tender mercies have an interesting way of presenting themselves.
i opened my travel journal and wrote, "suddenly, home doesn't seem so far away."
i knew i'd be fine today.

got off at the correct location.
walked across platform.
waited for next train.
and waited.
kept waiting.
there were others waiting, too, and i noticed a short black lady with super curly hair (so awesome), and clean gray converse shoes (so awesome). she made some comment about the train taking forever, and i asked if it was the only f-train that came this way. she said yes and inquired what direction i was trying to head. turns out we were headed in the same area.
the train finally came, and we sat together (though didn't talk much).

the train was far more nice than the poor old c-train, and at one point, sun lit up the dull windows as the train sped upward above ground and sped over the brooklyn bridge. 
the lady and i got off at our stop and walked out of the metro together (she made sure to point out where i'd go on the way back).
we walked a block or two, got one more direction from her, then parted ways.
she went right. 
i kept walking straight. 
got to brett's. safe and sound.

something inside me (i know what it was, too) told me who i could and could not trust today. that was an extra special gift i hadn't even asked for, and found all too perfect for what i needed.

{additional note}
on the train home, i wrote in my travel journal, "i walked with a lot more confidence than i felt i should have had, but took stock of myself and realized i did know the way-there was no need to panic or feel nervous until a problem presented itself. i made sure not to be cocky--i was only a survivor of one train ride by myself--but i was confident enough not to be scared. it felt good. 
 i sat and out the window across from me, saw a train riding a track parallel to ours. both gained speed at the same time, and though ours sped up a bit more, so it was an odd sensation--i felt the immense speed my train was going but studied the other as it ran. its windows went by slower but not too slowly; it had gained proper train speed. eventually, the track it was on dipped down and sunk below ours so the faces and windows that framed them disappeared. it reminded me of the old black and white film reels as they flip through. i wonder if anyone else noticed this odd and oddly enjoyable sensation. 
i looked around; no one seemed to notice. i reveled quietly to myself."
above: the actual entry and quick sketches i drew to remember...i'll post real pictures later.


jaunts in the city

{tragic: i wrote this on saturday, but wanted to include photos and sketches. my memory card isn't reading on my computer! :( but i'll post anyway, and hopefully get them up later....}

new york--day 2. i set out on my own this morning (after receiving very detailed instructions) to find the apartment i might move into. it could have been scary, but wasn't. i felt very confident and happy. it was a lovely morning, and i found my way easily. i noticed a few things today.

i love architecture.
old buildings with intricate decorations are fabulous. 
stairways scaling buildings look cool.
the buildings here are very well colored.

people are fascinating.
i got several "good morning!"s while walking.
i was handed a few religious brochures.
it's cool; skin color doesn't tell you anything...
it's what comes out of their mouths, and how they say it that tells you about where they're from.

when i got back, we met up with lindsay, shelley's friend, and we walked around central park.
pushing a stroller through central park is very hard. especially up the hills.
i love outdoor music. love it.
john lennon rocks my socks.
there are many older, very fit people in new york.
saw a whole ton of people jogging in half-uniforms: police button-up shirts, and odd shaped hats (lindsay thought they looked like 'british constables', though she admitted she wasn't exactly sure what that term meant. judging by this picture, she was spot-on.) however, they were wearing normal gym shorts and running shoes....
even my comfiest shoes...aren't comfy enough.
the variety of dogs here is endless.

we then walked to lindsay's apartment.
new york has great typography. 
i enjoyed hearing pregnant-mom talk. (they're both expecting.)
stroller up the stairs: hard. but i'm learning.

we hopped on the subway,
and went to see the temple and lincoln center.
the temple was beautiful!
the julliard building is beautiful!
hey jeff, it had a title that looked like a word or two we both know and love.

subway again. 
 dude with dreadlocks as long as my hair *used to* be. 
reminded me i need to blog about that....
sounds of this city are fascinating. smiling to myself, i felt a bit like this

had a good discussion with shelley about good life stuff.
(to be recorded in my journal.)

so, lots and lots of walking.
even my comfiest shoes...aren't comfy enough.
but it was a wonderful day!


new york, day I

{{night previous}}
 said goodbye to some favorite friends. then packed. and packed. and packed.
got 20 minutes of sleep.

{{morning of}}
left in a frenzy. had a really good talk with my dad on the ride there. made for a good prep for my upcoming adventure. made it to airport barely on time. sat next to lady who was seemingly untalkative and uninterested in acknowledging my presence. looked out window. 4 hours on plane. 

{{plane ride + view}}
the clouds were absolutely amazing outside. i admired the landscape, especially where the sun kept peeking out making spots on the ground, contrasting other areas that were being drenched with rain. the gray clouds were in a perfect horizontal line, paralleling the horizon, only breaking form for the areas of angry precipitation. from above, nothing is hidden and the big picture is beautiful. the sunspots wouldn't have held their glory without the areas where the clouds were broken up by torrents of rain. it was the whole scene that made it beautiful. interpret that [metaphor] however you'd like....

gazed out as we ascended above them, then into one. white cloud consumed my view. shut window, slept.

slept, slept.

determined, made friends with passenger neighbor about 30 minutes before landing. turns out she's from finland and works for nokia, has two daughters, and was in utah for a conference in park city. i like her. she has an illustrator friend who sounded pretty rad too. 

{{airport frenzy}}
grateful for kody who advised me to get super shuttle. got super shuttle. after i finally found it.
first on.
sat next to a german 16-yr old girl named steph, who wants to go into banking (her mom does stuff that sounded like a tax auditor, though steph didn't know the english word)
found out that lanes are apparently optional in new york. horns are preferred, and pedestrians get least priority. pondered over what sort of driving tests were given to shuttle drivers.
passed times square. marveled at how many bodies could fit in a singular location.
steph likes comedy movies, and horror films. i don't like horror films. discussed soccer (football) and families (she's an only child).
bid farewell to steph. watched as sun began to set. fought off sleep. failed.
 last off.

{{harlem stroll + suitcases}}
realized i was dropped off ten blocks away from my destination. walked ten blocks. shelley met me and welcomed me into her lovely apartment.  fed me soup and rolls. i did dishes. read shelley's daughter a story with a promise of more stories tomorrow.
reminisce --it's the 'cat in the hat'. one i know well for multiple reasons. 
try to convince her to get to bed.
because i am going to bed.
because i'm exhausted.
and it's only 9pm. 
good night.

ps, forgot toothbrush. 
*forehead smack*

where nobody knows your name

my bags are packed. 

actually...that's a complete lie. but i wanted to post before i left, so though i'm staring into an empty suitcase, here's the scoop....

the most obvious part of this trip is going to be good work experience. part is going to be adventure. but one of the biggest parts, in my mind, is sort of a personal sabbatical

i have a lot going on in my life here at home. like...a lot. while i initially didn't realize it, this trip is ideal for me to kind of step back from everything here at home and just take some time for me. i want to really focus on what i'm doing out there; make the most of my time. thus, i'm going to have minimal contact with people at home. crazy, eh? i realize this may sound selfish, and maybe it is, but i'm going to trust that most of you know me better than that and i feel good about it. for those who don't know me, i'm still very happy to have you here!

i've told a few of you about this, and have received positive responses, so thank you for your support. i'm going to bank on the fact that my friends and family knows i'm not doing this to shun, but merely for my own personal well-being and attempt at clarity. 

i won't be using my phone a lot, and i'm not sure when i'll be able to check e-mail. i'll try to blog as much as i can so i can share my adventures with you! (those of you who are veteran readers may know that this might be one of those "now that my internship is over, here's what happened!..." situations. =D but really, i'll try and post at least weekly, conditions permitting.) i love responses to my blog posts (i always do) and i'll keep in touch that way.

i've lived in the same town most my life, and i've always dreamt of going to a place where nobody knows my name. here's my chance!

as for now...read my posts and enjoy my adventures. see you in six weeks. :)


wanted: NY advice

major things are happening, and i've meant to blog but because i've been so busy getting ready for NY, i've lacked the time. friday is the big day!

for now, i just have a few things to say. if you're short on time, please read #3!

1) i found housing! i got accepted to the i-house, but then decided my money would be better spent experiencing new york so i'll be renting an apartment for june. tonight i found out things might still be a bit iffy, so let's keep our fingers crossed!

2) i'm sad i won't be able to take the awesome rebel xsi with its wonderful lens that i've grown to love so much, since it's my work's camera, but i will be taking my holga! today i bought 4 rolls of various holga film. we'll see if miss holga decides to give me some good shots this trip.  i also pray that my point-and-shoot camera lasts...it's been dying for some time. i'll try to sketchbook what i can't photograph.

3) most important: i need your help. if you have any advice about new york, including places to go/visit (big places, little places, restaurants, shops, parks, fun niches that no one pays attention to, etc), please let me know! also, if you have any words of advice (i've heard walking around at night is not so good, to get a metro pass, etc) let me know as well. also, if there's something you think i should attend or do while i'm there, even holga or camera tips, or just anything else, feel free to inform me!

 [above left: map of NY to carry around and thereby orient self, above right: best advice yet. it makes sense to me...trust me.]

don't be scared; please leave a comment below, so i can have all my NY advice in one place! i'll not be there for long, so i really want to maximize the time i have.

thank you! i'll blog a few more times before i go. i'm off for an adventure for sure.


somethin' changed!

in recent news:

1) if you've been here before, you can tell my blog obviously had a face lift. it's a totally different look, and i can't tell if i like it yet. i just realized a lot of my previous posts have been formatted specifically for the previous template, so if you find any invisible text or pictures that are cut off, please leave me a comment and let me know! also if you have any ideas or feedback, i'd love to know.  

2) the semester turned out to be crazy, like always. but i'm back, and i'll try to catch up! (remember how i started to tell you about my winter '09 semester? i still need to post those....) so this week, i'll try to catch up--post all the half-written posts that i've been meaning to publish for some time.

i'll do that this week, because next week...

3) i'll be in new york! huzzah!

i got an internship with brett helquist (check out his stuff--he's great!) and another with the society of illustrators (i was told to contact annelle miller, who sounds pretty great!) and i'm super excited. i'll be there from may 21 - july 2. back just in time for the 4th of july, but also just missing zach's birthday by 2 days. how that happens, i don't know!...bad-girlfriend points...grumble....

4) anyway, i still have no housing. i'm in the middle of applying for the international house, but chances are slim they'd have room and it would cost a pretty penny (oodles of pennies, actually, regardless of how they look). so if anyone has new york connections, again-- please help a girl out.

5) i just noticed there are no pictures for this exciting post. let's fix that:

there. some gumballs for you. i'll post paintings and other photos later.

meanwhile, i'll settle in and try to get used to my blog's new look. don't worry...she's still the same blog. good and old. promise. hopefully i'll feel warmed up to on my online home before i get to the big apple (does that sound as pathetic as i think it does?), because as soon as i get there i'm on my own, and i'm pretty sure i'll want some sort of attachment to my real home. :)

tally hall...well, you know the rest. {addendum}

i'm finally all done with the 'tally hall, there's no one better than you' series! one day, 5 blog posts. awesome. anyway, last thing i'm gonna say: here's all 4 photos so far.

what are the significance of these photos, you ask? well, you'll just have to go back and read for clarification. ;)

1- in the venue, with guster, 9.21.07
2- the velour, solo tour, 3.7.08
3- the velour, solo tour, 5.24.08
4- in the venue, with rooney, 12.4.09


tally hall, no one's better than you. {part V}

{{the rest of the concert + after party}}

[because i wrote all 5 tally hall concert posts around the same time, then added videos and pictures later, the entries were all in varying degrees of finished-ness. tragically, a few days after i posted #4, i read what i had for this one, #5, and it said a lot of the same stuff #4 did but so much better and was so much more organized. alas, it will not be published on this blog to prevent repetition. sorry, reader. maybe i will edit #4 one of these days....]

this is the final episode in this series. :)

the rest of rooney::
i spent the rest of the time between rocking out with jessie and brooke to rooney and talking with jeff and the other guys with tally hall. rooney was good; i knew more of their songs than i'd previously realized. i was glad that jessie is a die-hard rooney fan- this was her first concert and she got to see both them and tally hall. by the end of the night, though, tally hall was still my favorite.

the task::

it was great fun to talk with the guys after the concert, but we had to wait our turn. see, we knew we had a task, a feat worthy of the wait. so they visited with the rest of their crazy fans while we kept, well, taking pictures of ourselves and talking. we waited until the end when most everyone had gone, to continue our long-standing tradition: THE photo.

the history::

we've taken the same photo of ourselves ever since their first concert, each person in the same position, and adding a band member each time, starting out with rob. it was sort of endearing; andrew seemed pretty excited to be the added member this time.

maybe i will post the others some time.

the photo::

it was hard to get all the guys together this time. by the time we had one we'd lost another, and so on. the bouncers were getting pretty upset that people were still hanging around, and started yelling that we all needed to get out (probably so they could turn the venue into a bar again by a certain time). so, being the awesome people they are, tally hall came outside in the front of the venue with us. all except for joe, who was nowhere to be found. [joe seemed a lot more silent and introverted this time around, it seemed like rob had taken the lead. interesting how band dynamics change. ]

we assembled together and took it: THE picture. it seemed kind of huge this time--so many people! it was way fun, and then we took a few individual shots and let them get pictures with the only other group of fans who had stayed around that late. after receiving a possible reprimanding call on his phone, andrew politely told us they had to go. with quick hugs goodbye and lots of laughter, they disappeared back into the venue.

so until next time, tally hall, we'll miss you.

concluding in the end, i'd like to say no one's better than you.