Cosplay?

For my last semester in college I’m required to take a capstone class (think like super senior project class) for photography. I basically had to choose a theme for a photo project that I will work on for the whole semester. I decided on portraiture, specifically portraits of cosplayers in costume. At the time I thought it would be amazing and unique and really fun, and I still think that now, except I’m having a teeny bit of trouble actually getting cosplayers to photograph. I’ve got 3 months so I’m not going to worry about that quite yet…

With all of the research that has gone into Cosplay Portraiture I’ve definitely been inspired to make my own costume. I’ve been looking into making a costume for Rey from the latest Star Wars movie. I really admired the character and thought the costume looked simple enough (but very cool at the same time). So I started doing some more research, looking for bits and pieces of the costume and very quickly learned that actually putting together a decent cosplay is hard.

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Source  (I mean who wouldn’t want to look this amazing?)

Let me tell you. I have searched through amazon, looked up diy videos, compared cosplays already made… and it’s gonna be some work. Work I think I might be willing to do. I have no sewing skills, no costuming expertise or experience really. But I really want to try this. I’m sort of laughing at myself as I type this (I do that a lot in case you all were wondering.)

I’ll keep you updated on my progress 🙂

 

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I Made Friends… Again.

When I quit band, something that I thought I was going to have serious issues with was making friends. Turns out I was completely correct. Band was the perfect place to make friends, because you were actually forced to whether you wanted to or not. People started to rub off on you after five days of band camp, and suddenly you were best friends with people you hadn’t known the week before. Or at least you thought you had become best friends until the next week when you found the people you were actually compatible enough to be semi-good friends with.

So when I moved from Tucson, stopped all musical ensembles, was a part of zero clubs, knew basically no one… I pictured myself struggling to build relationships with anyone around me. It didn’t help that I was going in as a “sophmore” when I should have already graduated from college… I had nothing in common with the people in my classes. Even the people who were in the few photo classes I started out with seemed a bit alien. Halfway through my first year, I accepted my fate, I was just meant to get through the three years, focus on school… I was past the party scene anyways, and it didn’t really matter much if I didn’t make any friends.

Except that’s still a pretty lonely life to have. My sister tried to loop me into her group of friends, but that wasn’t meant to be, and with my closest friends at least 4 hours away, Netflix became the best friend I had. (It just understood me when I needed to cry about fictional characters at 2am!) This wasn’t the life that was intended for me, and I’m glad I was pushed in a different direction.

The second half of the second year I was at NAU I was informed about a Christian group on campus. This wouldn’t have really interested me a year in advanced, but you see, I had been through some changes. After a bad breakup, way too much time by myself, and just enough Netflix binges (it is bad for you I suppose…) I had a night when my life was changed and I considered myself a new and true Christian. Fast forward about 6 months and I’m meeting up with a girl I didn’t know, literally a friend of a friend, to participate in a bible study.

I wish I could say that I was magically transformed that night and I was charming and opened up and allowed myself to make friends and I was happy, but the reality is I panicked and ran the other way (back into the arms of Netflix.)

But loneliness is worse than the fear of looking like a fool in front of new people in an unfamiliar environment.

So I tried it again another handful of months later… I honestly don’t know what made things different the second time around. Maybe I was more willing to be myself. Maybe I had prayed enough and God was answering my prayers. Whatever it was that made the second time around the right time… I’m thankful. Humans are not meant to feel alone.

It’s weird having gone through the process of making friends again as an adult… I definitely value the friendships I’ve made a bit differently, just as I value the friendships I’ve kept over the years a bit differently. But the weirdest part is considering that I was able to make friends without band, without being forced to do so, on my own time… it’s a different process entirely, and I couldn’t explain how I managed to get through it if I tried.

The moral to my story is this: everyone can make friends at any point in their life, but you have to TRY. Putting effort into it was something new to me, and I think that’s why so many friendships after high school fail. But the silver lining is that the friendships you make when you actually put that effort into making them and keeping them, tend to be of a better quality, so it’s worth it if you’re willing.

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Excited to be Awake

It’s the last day of January. Has anyone else ever noticed that as you get older, time goes by a lot faster? I wonder if that’s because we are capable of remembering more, or if we’re more aware of time in general? I remember as a kid, 5 minutes seemed to be the longest period of time. “5 more minutes” meant something profound. Today, 5 minutes goes by without much thought. It’s weird.

I read a post online recently where someone was saying they miss the feeling of being excited about being awake. Like when you’re too amped about something that’s going to happen to fall asleep or when you stay up late because you’re so elated about life. I miss that feeling too. I feel like I thought high school sucked for a majority of the time I was in it, but really when I think about that time when I was just excited about life, that’s what comes to mind. That’s the last time I can really remember being able to wake up and really get out of bed right away because there were people I wanted to see or places I wanted to be.

I’m not sure when things changed, but now it seems like I never get out of bed right away when my alarm gets up. It’s a struggle to get through the day, sometimes I have an event to look forward to, sometimes I don’t and I just trudge forward. But I think by doing so, I definitely miss the point of living.

When we’re in school (before college, generally) there’s a routine, your life moves forward on a regularly greased wheel, there’s not a whole lot of fear of what’s ahead, but when you become an adult (whenever you consider that to happen), that changes quick. You are expected to grease that wheel of life, make your own routine and face the fear of what’s ahead in a timely manner. I haven’t really done well with this, to be completely honest with you… actually when it comes to proper adulting, I really suck at it.

So here I am, a mere four months and some change before the real world hits me like a truck. What do I do to change things around? What differences in my life do I pursue to make sure that I want to get out of bed every morning? I’ll keep searching for the solution, and I’ll keep you all in the loop if I discover the secret. Maybe there’s some internet research that I can do.

 

In other news, it is thunder-snowing in Flagstaff right now. If I have to commute in an insane amount of snow tomorrow morning, I will be sure to document that and share it with you all.

 

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I’m better at being a laser fox than I am being an adult.

The Library

I am officially in my last semester as a college student. My classes are just about set (I have one more photo class to override into) and my work schedule is complete. I’ll be organizing the rest of my time today in my nifty online schedule, entering in due dates and setting myself up for success. Although really should I count on being any more organized than I have in my 12+ previous semesters? We’ll see.

Thursdays are my “day off”. I don’t have class or work, but it’s officially my homework day. It’ll be my date days with the library. It’s been a few semesters now that I have relied on the school library as my place where I really get work done. Last year when I was in a pretty bad living situation which involved being room mates with several extremely loud people who liked to bring even more loud people home with them no matter the day or hour… I discovered the library, its silence, its free warmth, electricity and water, and its wonderful ability to put me in the mood to get work done.

Back then it was an escape. Now it’s a second home.

Reasons I love working at the library (a list):

  1. The environment. During the normal course of the semester minus midterms week and just around finals, the library is usually pretty empty, and the only people there usually are the type that want to be there. So it’s quiet, no distractions, nothing keeping you from actually doing your homework.
  2. It is a place where it is completely acceptable to drink obscene amounts of coffee without the chance of being judged. You can come in with a starbucks cup, drain it, go downstairs and buy more coffee, drink up, have your friends bring you more coffee… the people around you will just assume that you’re working on something really important.
  3. Like I mentioned before, free warmth, electricity, and water. Usually when I go to the library I make camp. I have my laptop, phone, tablet, music device, and I charge all of them. I have to have a table that has an outlet or else there’s no way I’m staying very long. Sometimes I even bring batteries for other electronics that need to be charged. The library is usually pretty warm, but almost always warmer than my apartment, so that’s a plus. And I can fill my water bottle up at a filling station as many times as I want. (When I’m not overdosing on caffeine.)
  4. It’s not just a great place to do homework. I’ve worked on NaNoWriMo, edited pictures, caught up on my tumblr posts, done bible study… whenever I just want to get away and do work on my own, the library is a fantastic place to do it.
  5. You can wear sweatpants. Nobody cares, especially during high-testing weeks. Get comfy and get to work

 

A Little Confession…

I have a confession to make.

For years, like since I was in middle school ages ago, I have wanted to become an actress. Yeah, I know, seems like a silly confession, but for me it’s weird because I’ve never told that to anyone. But it’s also something that I think about. A lot.

I never went through with this secret dream of mine, never asked my parents for classes, kept content with school plays and silly programs here and there. I never told anyone because I thought most people would brush it off, what did it matter anyways? While I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do in college, what my major would be, my mind would wander to joining theater programs while simultaneously laughing at myself because what program would accept someone with zero training?

My sister and I went to see the new Star Wars movie today (we were absolutely blown away by it of course, if you haven’t seen it already, I would highly recommend!) It’s movies like those that really make me wonder what life would be like if I had ever decided to go down that path. I learned later on (after doing some stalker research on everyone in the movie) that the actress Daisy Ridely, who plays Rey in the film, had been an waitress just before being cast in the movie. How amazing is that? Now she’s part of this multi million dollar success, and it’s almost like her world completely turned around because of one chance.

I don’t know what it is exactly that pulls me to being an actress so much. It’s not money or fame (believe me, fame is something I’m not sure I’d ever be able to handle). But perhaps it’s the idea of a chance to be someone I could only wish to be. To pretend to have a life that’s so much more epic than the one I have.

I’ve wondered if it’s to late to get into acting, even if it’s just silly classes somewhere. I think it might be, but then I think of people like Daisy who just gave it a chance and managed to catch a break… it may only ever be a dream.

I Love Disneyland

Let me tell you a thing about my love for Disneyland.

My first trip to any Disney Parks when I was younger was a Christmas gift. My family went to Disney World and on one of the Disney cruises when I was 10 years old. 15 years later I still remember how absolutely fantastic this trip was. It was one of those really special trips, we stayed in one of the park hotels, had busses take us everywhere, didn’t have to worry about carting around luggage or items we bought at the park, literally everything was taken care of for us. It was incredible for a 1o year old, and I’m sure if I went through it all again today (I wish) it would still be incredible to me.

So you would think that after the grand Disney experience I went through as a kid that Disneyland would seem small and not quite as exciting, so on. My first time at Disneyland I was 15, and I loved it. It didn’t seem to small, not enough, not exciting… it was magical.

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Baby me and sis. (2010?)

Since then I’ve been another four times, once with band, twice on impulse trips with friends, and my sister and I just made plans to go again during spring break of this year.

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The time we made special shirts. (2012)

My love for Disneyland runs so deep that I am even willing to train to run 13.1 miles for another excuse to go. I’m currently getting back into running, hoping that this time around I can train for one of the Disneyland half marathons. (If you’re interested in my journey you can follow my running blog, it’s pretty cool.)

So when I’ve been hearing lately so many people complaining about Disneyland, it really hurts my Disney Princess heart. I’ve seen comments about the prices for the year-long passes, complaints about the construction that will be happening for the new Star Wars land, complaints about the crowds, about the food, about the rides… anything that could be complained about has been on social media.

It just floors me that people don’t seem to understand that although it’s Disneyland and it’s full of magic, not every problem is so easily solved. It is a running business, and a popular one at that, and there are going to be issues that don’t please every single person that goes through the park gates. It reminds me of the older people who would come into the retail store I worked at who would order me to change “my” prices and to change “my” policies or else they would stop shopping there. If you don’t like it, stop going, there are plenty of other people who are fine with the way things are and will continue giving business.

I’ll be one of the many to say this, but, I think Disneyland is fantastic. The point of these parks is to spend a day or two forgetting about the terrible things that happen in the world. You go to experience childhood again. It’s meant to be fun and free and magical. Sure you have to wait in lines to ride the rides, but I’m willing to bet that after you actually ride the rides you’ve forgotten about the lines. As for the prices, I don’t personally buy the year long passes (though I wish I could go any time I wanted during the year), but for a broke college student, part of the reason Disneyland is so freakin special is because I have to SAVE UP to be able to buy tickets. No, it’s not cheap, but I make up for the price of a ticket by having an AWESOME time.

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Most recent trip, yes my hair is purple. (2015)

The One Word Challenge

So going along with the New Year’s resolutions, my church does this thing where you are challenged to pick one word that you want to focus on to lead your life during the year. Of course, since it is a church thing, usually people choose words that are related to our faith, or that help us to connect better to God during our year ahead. For example, my pastor last year chose the word “generous”. Through this word he reminded himself to be more generous with his time, help and even his money throughout the year of 2015.

Although this is something that I learned about through church, I think it’s an interesting concept that anyone could use to make a bit of change in their lives this year. Think about the usual way people make resolutions… it’s a list of things that sound absolutely wonderful, losing weight, getting healthy, spending less, getting organized, making yourself new. But the list grows long for most people and pretty soon all of those wonderful changes you would like to make are overwhelming. It’s tough wanting to be the best you can be when there’s so much to focus on to get to that point.

I think what works great for the “One Word” idea is that you focus on this single idea, but at the same time, one idea can impact so many aspects of your life if you let it. You can make a widespread difference to your life without having to overwhelm yourself with so many goals.

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Slightly blurry picture of my pretty church…

So after getting the challenge to choose my one word, I did some digging, both in my soul and in my life generally and I discovered that something I really wanted to achieve for myself was to become that person who everyone can feel comfortable with, to really stop being so negative, stop bringing myself down (and bringing others down indirectly). I want to be able to hold my head up high and take on every situation with grace, and really I want to show my faith through my every day actions.

The word that kept coming to me while think about all of this was “Light”. To be a light in a world continually becoming darker is something that I’d really like to accomplish. I think it’s fitting in my life, since I work with light so much in my photography, and I think it’s a general enough word that I can really use it to make some much needed changes for myself.

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So I’m curious to know, if you could focus on One Word to make some changes in your life, what would it be?