Even though I'm not in school right now, the beginning of September always feels like a new beginning to me. It seems like a good time to share my plans for the rest of the year and the time to come as I finally have some ideas of what I want to do.
First a catchup of the last three months. In May, I went to a fun Ingrid Michaelson concert with beerbad
and had a great time listening to some of my favorite songs. Mother's Day was pretty sad and I tried to avoid the media but eventually gave in and just scrolled through and watched some sad TV shows and cried some. One of the most fun things I did was go to Malibu State Park and go to this little pond (not sure what the right word is here) where they had cliff jumping rocks and I went to the highest one (about 30 feet) and jumped off of it. It was SO fun and I had been feeling kind of meh about the world and it gave me an adrenaline rush that made me feel happy and full of hope again. I just love feeling like I'm flying and being that high in the air, I really felt like I was in the air on the way down and it felt amazing. I also went to a fun Harry Potter roller skating event where there was a ton of people dressed up and they played Harry Potter songs and it was just really fun even though at the end the music was meh so I put on my headphones and listened to shippy songs for my favorite couples (mostly Kane/Toews). I went to a Memorial Day BBQ with other geeky/fannish type people and had fun playing Cards Against Humanity and talking various TV shows with people. I had a lot of fun going to see the Chicago Blackhawks play the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center in my first live hockey game and I was lucky enough to see it with celli
and get to see Toews score a goal right in front of me. celli
and I had a lot of fun talking hockey and various real life stuff after the game and it was fun getting a chance to get to know her better. I also went to see a screening of the Mindy Project season finale and got to see a cast Q&A and later got to meet Mindy Kaling for the fourth time - and she remembered who I was for the third time ever. It was pretty cool and she even took a selfie of her and me. I also went to my second cousin's bridal shower and got to catch up with that side of my family and got to see my grandma's sister as well which was nice and I'm looking forward to going to his wedding in November.
In June, I spent a lot of time finishing my Femslash Premiere and my Premieres vid for Vividcon which was a bit stressful but I was ultimately able to finish by the deadline. I was also following the NBA draft and super happy when my favorite player, Tyler Ennis was selected 18th in the draft and another Syracuse player, Jerami Grant went to the Philadelphia 76ers which has a Syracuse player, Michael Carter-Williams who just won Rookie of the Year and who I slash with his friend on the team, Nerlens Noel so I'm looking forward to OT3ing them together. I also started watching the World Cup, following it seriously for the first time ever and fell in love with the USA team, most of all the coach, Jurgen Klinsmann. Jurgen who was a big star in Europe who won the World Cup with Germany in 1990, coached the German team to a 3rd place finish in 2006 (in Germany) but who loves the USA and lives there with his family so he decided to coach the USA team in 2011 and is attempting to turn the team around so it can eventually win the World Cup with the men's team. I really love what he's trying to do and his personality and I have a lot of hope that he can help us win it all so I began to follow the US team and was in ecstasy after we beat Ghana and went to a USA bar for the Portugal game with cenedrawood
and was SO HAPPY when USA came back from a 0-1 deficit to be winning 2-1...only to lose in the last thirty seconds in one of the most heartbreaking sports moments ever for me. Thankfully we still had another game against Germany where Jurgen was coaching against his friend, Joachim Löm (who was his assistant coach when he coached Germany) and since I ship them together (thanks to caesaria
), it was an entertaining game for me if terrifying. We lost by one but were still able to make it out of the group stages where we played Belgium which I don't even want to talk about because I'm still super bitter and prefer to think about how Tim Howard made 15 saves and Julian Green scored a goal on his first touch even though he's only 19 years old and was another young player that people complained about being on the roster and yet was one of the many players to prove that Jurgen knew what he was doing cause he's an amazing coach <3 Anyways, I started out rooting for Brazil (because they were at home, it meant a lot to them and they spent so much money at least they could get SOMETHING out of it), Germany, England, Italy and I also added the Netherlands after I saw their first game against Spain and enjoyed watching Robben and van Persie play. Eventually Germany and Netherlands were my favorite teams as after watching a documentary about the 2006 German team and falling in love with Robben as a player I wish I could be like, I emotionally connected with them, plus it helped that both teams did super well.
In July, I was really into basketball as the NBA summer league started and all the new rookies, 2nd year players and undrafted players trying to get a spot on rosters were playing and I watched the 76ers team do well in Orlando with my guy, Jerami Grant. The major summer league was in Las Vegas though and I decided to go to Vegas, buy tickets for the games (they're cheap) and let out my basketball feelings while trying to meet some of my favorite Syracuse players since many of them were going to be there. I had an amazing time, getting autographs and talking to Tyler Ennis, Rakeem Christmas (current SU player), Jerami Grant, Michael Carter-Williams, Baye Moussa Keita and Brandon Triche (former SU players) as well as watching a ton of players play for their teams. Unfortunately my car had some issues so I stayed longer than I wanted to but I also had fun hanging out with n0apologies (twitter) who I had met at Wincon and we had a great time talking about our lives, Adam Lambert, Queer as Folk and other fannish topics. I was also there duing the World Cup final and went to a bar to watch Germany play Argentina where thankfully Germany won and I was SO HAPPY as Jogi Low and the team had come soooo close to winning in the last 8 years and always came up a little short so I was super happy for the team to finally win it all and I just had such a fun time celebrating, happy crying and joining in the celebrations at the German bar.
Finally I got back to LA and had fun going to elipie
's karaoke birthday party and then going to a Lady GaGa concert with her where we won free seat upgrades and got to hang in the VIP lounge with free drinks and hang out with hot half-naked boys while we could easily see Lady GaGa especially when she came over to the platform right above us. It was super fun getting to hear her sing some of her classic songs and she's an amazing performer so we had a fun time singing her songs and enjoying the performance. At the end of July, I went back home to Syracuse where I spent some time with my dad, caught up with my best friend and hung out with my cats at home. I also drove down to Pennsylvania to visit my cousin's family and spend some time with my aunt. My cousin is starting her own business so I spent a little bit of time at her shop and we also went with her family and my aunt to one of my favorite amusement parks where we used to go almost every year as a kid so it was very nostalgic to be back there again. Speaking of nostalgia, I also went to visit my childhood elementary school and was bummed to see they tore down the playground I had loved although they are building a new one, it's not the same. After that, I went to Vividcon which I'll talk about in a different post but the Wednesday after that, I had an amazing time going to Six Flags Magic Mountain with elipie
getting a chance to talk about Vividcon, new vidding ideas and other fannish stuff.
This summer I had planned on taking some courses related to college admission counseling but after a couple of days trying to take them, I realized my heart wasn't in them as I wasn't sure yet whether that's what I wanted to do as it might not be big enough for me career-wise. Thankfully I was able to get a full refund and another thing that affected my decision was a revelation I had thought of while reading books about colleges. I kept having regrets while reading on how I wish I had gotten a true college experience and had gone to a more intellectual school when I realized - I could still do that. There was a college I had first heard about in high school called St. John's College that covered in four years, many of the so called Great Books but without lectures, it's all discussion based or laboratory based as they cover science using classic experiments and original texts for everything. Two of the most interesting aspects is learning Ancient Greek and learning math from classic books like Euclid's Elements which I've always wanted to do to understand more of where the English language comes from and understand the basis of math which I've always though could be interesting in the right context. The college is pretty intense but that's exactly what I want, a place where people want to read and think about some of life's biggest questions by reading some of the most enduring books many of which I've always wanted to read and just needed some more structure and people to discuss them with. I feel like my intellectual development has been pretty stunted the last seven years and I know I need to take a big leap to become the person I've always wanted to be and this college is the perfect way to take my communication skills both written and oral to the next level. I am an ambitious person and I have big dreams of doing things to change the world but I need to build a strong foundation so that I can accomplish that so I think I need to take a risk to go to this college and become the person I want to be.
During the summer I started working on my application which consists of three essays talking about why I want to go to the college, a book that has influenced me and a significant experience that has left an impact on me and I'm working on finishing that up by the end of this month. The college has a January program that I'm looking to get accepted at where by going to school over the summer, I'll be all caught up with the freshman year program and will be a regular sophomore by the time next September comes around (but thankfully I will get a summer vacation right before the first potential Vividcon weekend). The college gives good financial aid so I'm not too worried about the money aspect, the bigger opportunity cost for me is the time but I think the education I'm getting will be worth it and I'll be doing part time jobs, volunteer work and internships during the school years and summer to help me figure out the best work for me to do after college and I always have a backup job as a programmer as well. One of the biggest negatives is the college is in Santa Fe and although the weather is not too much colder than LA (averaging 45-85 plus like 6 snow days blech), it'll still be a big adjustment leaving the city (and friends!) I love to be in a much smaller city with less things to do (although Albuquerque is only 45 minutes away and Denver/Phoenix are semi-close too). But I think it's worth it for this oppurtunity that I can't get anywhere else and I feel like I'll always regret it and wonder what if, if I decided not to do go. Plus I'll definitely be visiting LA during breaks, Escapade and during my free summers so I think I'll be able to survive. Another concern is the book list is not that diverse but I know there are book groups there that cover more classic books written by women, minorities and Eastern writers so I'll be sure to be reading them. Something I'm excited about is they have a lot of sports intramurals so I'll still be able to play soccer, tennis and there's lots of nature for hiking and even rock climbing. Most importantly, I'll finally get to have a true college experience and make lots of new friends as even though the college is small, people are very self-selected towards the kind of people I tend to get along with (minus your obligatory pretentious arrogant idiots) so I'm looking forward to that. It'll be a big life change for me but I think this is the best step I can make in working on becoming who I want to be and for my development to being able to help the world solve the major problems we're facing.
I originally was applying for this fall semester but I was having a hard time being ready for that so I decided to wait til January although I have a plan for what I will be doing in LA until then. A friend recommended to me a friend of hers who has a philosophy PHD and is willing to meet with me to go over classic texts that I want to start reading this fall so I can have some accountability and someone to discuss things with to prepare me for St. John's College. I'm planning on working on doing more reading (besides fanfic of course) this fall as I sample many books from nonfiction to fiction in many genres. I'm going to be focusing especially about reading books about California and LA as I want to work on solving problems in the state and want to become more knowledgeable about the issues surrounding the state. I also am going to be doing some volunteering with various organizations to learn more about LA and start figuring out what exactly I would enjoy doing for jobs. I also have a part time job I'll be working on to earn some extra money. Another big goal of mine for this fall is to start seriously trying to date while I still have time in LA which should hopefully give me more motivation to do it. I'm also continuing to work on improving my Spanish through Duolingo and translating Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone from Spanish to English using my Kindle App Spanish to English dictionary. And I definitely want to spend more time with my friends in Los Angeles while I'm still here.
Another big focus for me this fall is heath and fitness as I'd like to lose about 15-20 pounds before the end of this year. I signed up for an accountability type service which has been good with keeping me on track with my eating and exercise goals. Something inspiring for me was watching Kacey Cantanzaro complete the city finals course for American Ninja Warrior, an obstacle course competition where participants can win 500k for winning the finals course in Las Vegas. That inspired me to look into parkour and rock climbing which are two training aspects that some of the best competitors do. I figured that even if I don't make it, it'd be a fun goal to try to train for the course as it looks really fun and it's something that anyone can accomplish even if they don't have a lot of training when they were younger (unlike most sports). Thankfully there is a parkour (more accurately, freerunning) gym in the LA area and I've already taken two beginner lessons there and had fun practicing in the opening gym sessions. So far it's pretty basic, working on vaulting over objects and precision jumping, jumping from one ledge to another but it's been really fun and a great workout and I look forward to being able to do the crazy workouts I see in the gym. I was super scared about doing a flip from the high ledge into the pit (filled with soft foam stuff) but finally managed to gather my courage and did as well as do some flips on the trampoline. I also attempted to run up the warped wall they have in the gym and tried to jump from one bar to another (not there yet). I've also been into soccer as I really enjoy team sports so I signed up for a three days a week soccer class at my local community college and although it's a bit intimidating as it's all guys except one other girl and many of them want to compete on the soccer team at the college, so far I've been having fun playing (minus getting blisters on my feet from my new cleats). I even scored a goal during a game! We've been mostly just playing games which was a bit disappointing as I hoped to practice some skills work as well but it's been fun and I've been learning a lot even if it's been pretty hot playing during the summer. I've also been keeping up with my strength training workouts since March and been continually adding more weight to my lifts. Food is always tough for me as I hate cooking and love delicious food but I've been making a lot of progress and have lost three pounds so far.
I can't wait for the new TV season! I've been watching some of the trailers for the new shows and have added a few shows that I'm going to check out this fall. While A to Z has a couple of annoying things about it, it also features the Mother from HIMYM and as soul destroying it is seeing her, the show looks really cute and right up my romantic loving alley with the whole matchmaking element. I'm also excited for How to Get Away With Murder as Viola Davis looks amazing in it, the premise sounds fun and deliciously messed up and I will always trust Shonda Rhimes to do crazy things. I'm also going to check out Utopia which fascinates me as I've always loved thinking about how to create the perfect society although the reality show format makes me keep my expectations down. I am also looking forward to checking out Survivor's Remorse which is about a BASKETBALL PLAYER (!!!) who becomes successful and must deal with everything that comes with it which sounds super fun for me to vicariously see that side of things and is produced by Lebron James (who I've come to not hate since he went back to Cleveland) so I'm very curious to check it out. I kind of wish I could watch The Flash because the lead actor is a guy I found SUPER hot on Glee (Sebastian!) but I've sworn off all superhero shows unless it features a female/PoC lead so I'll just be checking out Agent Carter. Mostly I'm going to be listening to friends and critics to see if there are any high quality shows I should check out. I'm really looking forward to The Mindy Project, Faking It and Scandal coming back especially the first two as they feature two of my favorite ships. I'm mostly planning on using the fall to continue to catch up with some well written shows I haven't watched yet including Deadwood which I MUST finish by the end of the year. On the movie side of things, this summer I LOVED Maleficent (Maleficent/Aurora all the way!), enjoyed X-Men: Days of Future Past and am looking forward to seeing The Hunger Games 3, The Hobbit 3 and Annie (love the trailer!). On the sports side of things, my new soccer team is Bayern Munich since they have my favorite player, Arjen Robben, lots of German players from the national team like Müller, Neuer and Götze and my fave USA guy, Julian Green (although he's on loan to Hamburg this year) so I already have an emotional investment in them and will be watching all their games. I'm casually following the English Premier League (mostly for my USA/Germany people) and some college football as well and will be checking out my usual NFL teams this fall (although I'm still super bitter there's no LA team) such as the Bills, 49ers, Giants, Chargers and Jets. We'll see timewise what happens as once NBA seasons starts in late October and Syracuse basketball in November, most of my attention will go to that because YAY BASKETBALL. Hockey will be back in October as well and I will check out some Chicago games sometimes.
Super excited for Festivids! I have about 6 possible nominations at the moment although I worry about qualification for a couple of them but I'm excited about them and the vid ideas I want to make already. Before I get my assignment though, I need to start working on my Escapade vid as that's going to require a time committment and I have another vid idea I want to make for next year that I need to get started on clipping right now to get it done in time for VVC. I have another vid that's almost done that I should hopefully post in the next week as well. I have a couple ideas that require me to stretch my skills that I'm really excited about even if it'll be a challenge, it should be fun to do. Other fun fandom-y things coming up is a bunch of NorCal (and elsewhere) fangirls are planning a Fandom Beach Vacation where we rent a beach house and just hang out all day and I'm so excited to hang out with my fandom friends in November :) I also need to plan out what to do for my birthday in October this year, I have an idea and need to check if it's realistic. I still can't believe I'm going to be 27...is that officially late 20s? Eek. But hopefully with all the plans I have in place, I'll be ready to enjoy this time in my life shortly!