Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Cake

UPDATE: I’m still in California. My departure looms ever closer, but as of today, Thanksgiving 2011, I am still here. Just hanging out. On a major holiday. All by myself.

Instead of sitting around doing nothing all day, like I do on most other days, I decided to go to Point Dume State Beach. You may not have heard the name, but you’ve probably seen it before.

Oh, uh… spoiler alert I guess.

Anyway, it’s that beach.

Rather than write up a whole thing about what I did down there, I made a video. Here it is:

I forgot to record anything interesting about when I went up to the top of that cliff (the one the Statue of Liberty is right next to in Planet of the Apes) but I took some pictures, so here, now you can look at those:

IMG_2162

IMG_2169

This is a picture I took with the Pano app on my iPhone, it got a little messed up on the right side but it looks pretty decent otherwise, and you can kind of get an idea of what the view was like.

IMG_2172

And here’s where the Statue of Liberty will be someday. (I completely forgot about that movie while I was there, by the way. I’m sure I would have said something in the video about it as I was walking down the actual stretch of beach where they filmed that scene if I had remembered. Oh well.)

IMG_2196

IMG_2217

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh, and if you were wondering, here's the video Elizabeth posted of the turkey chasing the lady. For the record, it might look like I overreacted to one seagull creeping on me, but shortly after I turned the camera off, hundreds more showed up. So yes, I felt that I was legitimately being swarmed in that moment.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lingering Summer

I went for a walk today while I was waiting for my laundry to finish. It was cloudy, and I got rained on a bit, but I didn’t mind.

I took some pictures, because for the most part the weather has continued to be very warm and California-esque while other parts of the country and world are falling into winter. While I wish I was somewhere with snow, I’m sure a lot of people are wishing they were somewhere like California, so here are some pictures that might help you pretend for a few moments that you are.

walk13

walk12

walk9

walk7

walk14

walk2

It poured last night, so this sign took somewhat of a beating, but that doesn’t change the validity of the sentiment:

walk6

It says "Thank you soldiers for fighting for America" and also, randomly, "Chloe"

And here’s a yard with a bunch of stuff in it:

walk4

Hope the weather today wherever you are is just the way you like it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Hockey in Disney Town

Since I’ve decided to get out of California as soon as I can manage it, I’ve had a mental list of things I want to do before I leave. On this list were visits the Staples Center and Honda Center, where the Kings and Ducks play (respectively). My plan obviously was to see the Avalanche play away games at these rinks, but as I’m now leaving before the first time the Avs make a trip out to California, I had to settle for some games I was nowhere close to being emotionally invested in.

I already talked about how boring the Oilers/Kings game was (you know, where the Kings got shut out and the guy in front of me fell asleep). Wednesday I went to see the Nashville Predators play the Ducks in Anaheim, and I made an afternoon out of it.

Let’s talk about the most enjoyable part of that day first.

This is a grilled cheese sandwich made with waffles.

bruxie1

bruxie2

This comes from a sandwich place called Bruxie. I heard about this place from a friend and when I looked it up and saw something called a “Cheesy Bruxie” on the menu, I knew it was just a matter of time before I would be eating there. Waffle sandwiches. Can't pass that up.

I would say this grilled cheese gets mega points for creativity, and it definitely tasted wonderful and was toasted to perfection. Only complaint, I would have liked a little more cheese. I got a side of waffle fries with it (naturally) and they were incredibly tasty as well. Overall this was a pretty great eating experience. The seating was all outdoors and it was a beautiful evening to sit outside and enjoy a waffle sandwich. There was even a guy who walked by and waved at me (not sure if he thought he knew me or if he just thought I was hot - my hair did look really great that day, so who knows). Cheesy Bruxie gets a 9 out of 10. I kind of want to figure out what the best kind of waffle would be to make my own.

Side note, here’s the receipt:

bruxie

Check 303. I think it’s a sign. (For those who don’t know, 303 is a Colorado area code… and I just realized you do all probably know that, because of the horrible band from Boulder. Well, either way. I liked seeing the number show up.)

Anyway, then I went to the Preds/Ducks game. Anaheim is a really pretty area (at least what I saw of it was nice) but I feel like the entire town is permeated with Disney. It’s like you can smell it in the air.

ducks

I will say one thing: finding a place to park was incredibly easy.

A bunch of people with signs like this were outside for some reason:

ducks1

The other side said “GOD LOVES YOU” so at least they weren’t, you know, those other people who call themselves Christians and hold up signs. As far as I saw, these people weren’t screaming or verbally abusing anyone, so that was nice.

The view from my seat:

ducks2

This jumbotron made me feel a little bit better about the one the Pepsi Center has, even though it’s still probably newer.

The Kings have the best jumbotron though:

kings

Look at that thing. It’s gorgeous. Either some Avs fans need to come help me steal that thing and take it back to Denver (it’ll totally fit in my Scion XA, no problem) OR we need to figure out how to get a wildly successful NBA team to start playing in the Pepsi Center so someone will actually buy one for us.

Looking at that picture and comparing it to the one of the Honda Center, I realize you can see the ridiculous amount of fog they pump into the Staples Center. It was so hazy and weird. My guess was that this is to make residents of LA feel more comfortable by simulating the air they normally breathe when they go outside.

Anyway... the Ducks lost 4-2, but because they didn’t get shut out like the Kings did, I got to experience their completely awesome goal horn, which is a foghorn you can feel all the way down to the depths of your soul. Here’s a recording of it. So now just imagine that magnified by about a billion, and you still don’t know what it’s like. It was awesome.

I also got to see a penalty shot in person for the first time! It ended up being the game winner.

So it was fun and worth the trip. I still left early. Traffic, you know how it is. Also neither of them were my team so I didn’t and still don’t feel bad. (I never leave Avs games early. Not ever. I wouldn’t even do that if they were losing like, 9-1 or something crazy like that!) (That happened.)

Now that I’ve been to Staples and Honda, I’ve officially been to the same number of NHL rinks as I have been to MLB stadiums (Coors Field, Petco Park, and Dodger Stadium). I’ve decided to make it a project when I’m old and rich to go to a hockey game at every arena in the NHL. Until then, I’m pretty sure my grand total is going to stay at three unless I end up in Dallas, St. Louis or Phoenix any time soon (those will be the closest ones to me after I move back to Denver). (It would have to be really soon for Phoenix, because who knows how much longer that’s even going to be an NHL arena…)

I thought about making the trip up to San Jose to see a Sharks game, but tickets were too expensive even on StubHub. So the HP Pavilion will have to wait.

Okay, that’s enough rambling hockey talk that you definitely didn’t read. Here’s a song.

You probably won’t regret watching this.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure

Have you guys heard of Donald Miller? He’s this guy who wrote some books one time. He also has a twitter, and recently he tweeted this:

chooseyourown

It’s so cool God lets us choose our own adventure.

I can’t stop thinking about this.

Since this whole Los Angeles debacle started, I have grown increasingly frustrated with all things related to my faith. I majored in film at school with the idea in mind that I would move out to California and become a TV writer. Now I’m here. Half the battle, according to sources, is just being here. I’ve already made it farther than so many others do. Hooray for me.

So why don’t I want it anymore? I thought God was the one who gave me that desire in the first place, I thought he was the one who was leading me out here. And I thought this was going to make me happy. I thought I was going to feel fulfilled just by being here.

That feeling never came. I just felt far away. From everything. /emo

I’ve been trying very diligently to not get upset with God through all of this, due to what I’ve up until now perceived as his oh-so-hilarious method of getting me to realize that this isn’t what I’m supposed to be doing and my grand purpose lies elsewhere! (“All of this” being, specifically, moving out here, spending all my money and more of my parents’ money, being lonely and sad, paying too much for gas, and sleeping on an air mattress for three months.)

There is a path to things that I can sort of see, where this led me to that which let me to over there where I met those people, and I wouldn’t backtrack any of it. I just wish now, in hindsight, that I hadn’t decided to come out to California. Just that one thing I wish I could change. And I’ve been very annoyed with God for letting me go through with that.

It’s so cool God lets us choose our own adventure.

I remember before I got into this screenwriting program I’ve been in, I informed my parents that my backup plan if I didn’t get in was grad school, where I wanted to get my masters in Sports and Entertainment Marketing. I had already done the research and marveled at how much cheaper a state school degree was going to be than the private school education I’m going to spend the rest of my life paying for. My parents were (and are, always) supportive of me pursuing this (which is great considering I am about to move back into their house to do so).

And I remember, briefly, feeling like maybe grad school would be a better use of my time than the California thing. But I pushed that idea away because that’s not what you’re supposed to do, Sarah! That’s not what GOD wants you to do!

Well, six months later, I’m pretty confident that I don’t really know what God wants me to do. I DO know that he doesn’t want me to be miserable, and that’s what I’ve been since I opted for “MOVE TO CALIFORNIA, TURN TO PAGE 47.”

I used to love those Choose Your Own Adventure books in elementary school. We were all obsessed with them, and I know everyone in my class had read all the ones the library had by the time we left for middle school (though I can’t say I remember what any of them were now, a million years later). I haven’t seen one of these books in forever, so I looked them up and found a huge list of all of them. Some of the summaries are pretty priceless (these aren’t official summaries, they were written by the person who put the list together):

BY BALLOON TO THE SAHARA: You travel from France to Africa in a balloon, accompanied by your friends Peter and Sarah and a dog named Harry.

YOU ARE A SHARK: Your hike through Nepal leads you into a forbidden temple. As punishment for your intrusion, you must survive in the forms of several different animals in order to earn your freedom.

TROUBLE ON PLANET EARTH: You and your psychic brother Ned investigate the disappearance of all of Earth's oil.

SEASIDE MYSTERY: Your boring summer is enlivened somewhat by the involvement of a mermaid.

THOUGHTS:
1. Not a very creative title; also, a dog named Harry? Really? Also, I hope nothing bad happened to Sarah at any point in that book.
2. That happens to me all the time when I’m hiking through Nepal. They should really make those forbidden temples harder to get into if hapless tourists can just stumble inside and get turned into sharks.
3. I wonder if Ned can also make pies and touch dead people to bring them back to life?
4. SOMEWHAT?!

(I may or may not have paused in writing this post to read through that entire list. Time well spent, to be completely honest with you.)

The thing with these books though – there were always tons of endings, and you never just read through them once. I know I would always leave my finger marking a page I wanted to go back to and see what would happen if I went the other direction. We always had to know what would happen if we’d done that other thing, and with these books, we always got to find out.

LOST

When you’re reading a Choose Your Own Adventure book, you aren’t “supposed” to pick going up the dark path into the forest over walking down to the haunted beach. You can do both. If one choice ends badly (in, say, a grisly death of some kind), you just go back to where you started and pick the other one.

What I realized tonight when I saw that tweet from Donald Miller is that I shouldn’t be upset with God for “letting” me move out here when that wasn’t what I was “supposed” to do with my life. I think this was just me holding my finger on that page. I picked “MOVE TO CALIFORNIA” to see what would happen. It didn’t work out the way I wanted to, so now I’m going back to “STAY IN COLORADO” and see where that leads me.

I think God lets us choose our own adventure not because he wants us to learn things the hard way, like I was sort of believing for a while, but because he doesn’t want us to have regrets. You try to do something, it doesn’t work out – it’s okay. There’s always another beginning.

It’s not about God having some set path that I am required to follow in order to properly fulfill his purpose for my life. God’s not so small that he can’t use me wherever I am, whatever I’m doing. Wherever I am, that’s where I’m “supposed” to be.

Actually, scratch that – there’s no such thing as supposed. There’s just alive. And that’s enough.

It’s so cool God lets us choose our own adventure.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hey Kings: Your Fans Think You’re Boring

Tonight, I went to a Kings game. They lost 3-0 to the Oilers. I was bummed, because a) I wanted to hear their goal song, which doesn't happen when the home team gets shut out (maybe that’s obvious, but I’m sort of assuming you’re dumb) and b) the Oilers are in the Avalanche's division and I greatly dislike them because of that fact, and I prefer it when they lose. But oh well.

Anyway, this happened, and it was hilarious:

sleeeeeeep

I know it was kind of a boring game if you’re a Kings fan, but really? Dozing off? His friend on the other side of him was falling asleep too. (For the record, I think they were drunk, so maybe that contributed.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Homebound

There’s only ever one place we think of when we think of the word “home.” Anybody who disagrees is confused or lying. That’s what I think, at least.

I remember a few months into my freshman year of college, my friends in my dorm would refer to the dorm as “home,” and then marvel at that fact. “It really does feel like home now!” My outward reaction to this was mostly just laughter, while my inward reaction was just: No.

No, it doesn’t feel like home. It’s a dorm.

(Sorry, at Baylor they’re called “residence halls.” Sorry. I always forget.)

But it was A DORM. College dorms are gross, they’re full of germs, they’re loud and easy to get locked out of if you forget your ID card, and if you live in a dorm that happens to be in a place like Texas it probably has a lot of bugs in it (granted, that’s pretty much every building in Texas).

It never felt like home to me. That first dorm didn’t, the second dorm my sophomore year definitely didn’t, and neither did the two apartments I lived in after that.

Home was always in Colorado.

Then this summer, after spending a year in Colorado and falling in love with it again, I moved out to California, because it seemed like a good idea. You’re supposed to want to get away from home, right? To move away and create some kind of new home for yourself, build some kind of fulfilling existence on your own. That’s just what you do. And I thought I was supposed to do that in Los Angeles.

Well, in a perfect world I would have more time to do this out here, but this isn’t a perfect world, and I can’t find a job and I’m running out of money. And also, I just straight up kind of hate it here.

There, I said it.

I don’t like it here.

It took me a while but I finally came to the realization that when people would ask, “so how much are you LOVING living in LA?” the answer I always gave them was a lie. I don’t love it, at all, but I would tell them I did, because that’s the right answer.

It isn’t because California isn’t what I expected. It’s exactly what I expected. Trafficky, sunny and hot, lots of stuff to do, lots of stuff to look at, tons of rich people, tons of poor people, just tons of people in general, pretty dirty, there are beaches, there’s lots of good food.

All of that would be great if I still wanted to be here, if I was enjoying the pursuit of this TV writing dream I’ve held onto for so long. But this is the real reason I’m leaving: I let go of this dream a while ago. I just didn’t realize it. Now I’m here and I’m empty handed.

So I’m leaving. Because my dream is different now. And this dream is better, not just because it’s something I’m much more interested in, but it’s one that I can pursue in Colorado. And not only is Colorado just all around a better state to live in (all right, so I’m biased), my family is there. They anchor me, in more ways than one, and I can’t handle being away from them anymore.

Lots of people will probably read this and think I’m “giving up.” To you, I could say a lot of things. The PG, family-friendly version is: I don’t care what you think. My decisions are my own, and while this might look like I’m “running away” from something that was “too hard,” it doesn’t feel like that to me. I’m running towards something, something that’s finally going to make me happy, something I can do in the only home I’ve ever loved.

So that’s my big announcement. I’m going home. By January (possibly even sooner), I’ll be back in the one place I feel like I belong.

Picture courtesy of AEJMC on Flickr.