Shadows

These things are merely castings of matter all around you, shown by the sun–buildings, things, people, and even rocks on the ground. This is not a fact quoted by a rocket scientist, but is kindergarten material. Though these shadows are all great fun for playing, these aren’t the shadows I’m referring to. I’m talking about the shadows that I discovered on my trip to Chicago.

Chicago–called the windy city, more like the always have a coat, pants, and umbrella city. This is mainly because of Lake Michigan and the enormous shadows plastered on the city streets by gigantic skyscrapers.

Day 1. We walked…first to eat deep dish, and next to the Navy Pier. There was the first sight of it–the ferris wheel. Perched up at the top, we had a panoramic view of the glorious breach between civilization and the vast open area that is Lake Michigan. This is truly a sight to see. I also have to mention that there weren’t any shadows on top of the ferris wheel…

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Day 2. Waking up on a fold-out couch to sirens, the busiest day began. First a ride on the “L” and a little missed bus, we were out walking once again–that’s the thing about Chicago, you walk a ton. On our way to Millennium park, we saw the Art Institute of Chicago (with a typo in the sign I might add), heard the concert nearby, and smelled contrasting scents of flowers and car exhaust. We were photobombed by a little white dog at the Kidney Bean, and even had an interesting experience of feeding local birds with Cheese-its on our way to the Field Museum. We were brought back in time by seeing ships with actual sails on our way to gape at the enormous T-Rex. Somewhere in the mix we ate “Chicago Dogs” though we later figured out that they weren’t the real deal–oops, our mistake. Then as soon as we finished walking to the architecture boat tour ticket station, we were surprised with enough rain to need ponchos for the entire family–$2.50 a piece as I remember. Gladly by the time we set out, the rain had just coated us once or twice through, so we stood to gape at the glorious buildings lining the river in the rain. Ending the night, we stood in awe–or shook in awe–as we gawked at the city at night: lights shining, in the clouds, and only protected by a sheer layer of glass from peril. It was fantastic. All the while, there were shadows everywhere we looked on day 2.

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Day 3–The Final Day. Our one-stop journey started and ended at the Science and Industry Museum–it was definitely a show stopper. Seamlessly put together, were the exhibits–each one more captivating than the last and is sure to bring out your inner child. Caught up in all of the commotion: a ginormous ship from World War II, weather systems, physics, anatomy, even the history of cars and bicycles, and more. We were overloaded by knowledge by the time we left that museum. And that was the last we heard of the fantastic Chicago, since we left that day–and returned home in the same night, I might add. The trip was fantastic.

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So here’s the part where most of you are perplexed with my addition of Shadows to this post that clearly revolves around one of my family trips–but here’s also where you see where it comes together.

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I’m assuming you can see this picture. This was taken on top of the Willis Tower on the Skydeck. Unlike many hipsters these days, I wasn’t intentionally making my brother and I shadows in this picture–it was the error that the picture was taken without flash.

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This is the same picture, but it’s taken with the flash–please excuse the wet hair and red-eye. You can obviously see the difference. In one of the pictures, the scenery is the star, but in the other you take in the people and the scenery of equal importance. This is my insightful piece of the post for today–the difference is light. For the picture’s sake, yes it is actual light, but metaphorically the light resembles a difference. I looked all around Chicago, and out of all the faces I’d seen none of them stands out in particular in my memory–they were all shadows through my lens. This is the difference we could make to our days. Making another TV reference to “Grey’s Anatomy,” Cristina says to Meredith, “He may be dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are,” (Rhimes). No matter how much I agree with this statement, I believe that this is conditional. The only way not to become a shadow is to MAKE yourself the sun. I don’t mean talk louder, or show off to people to make yourself noticed. I mean to truly do exactly what you believe is right and have a passion for every day to make a difference–not to the world, but to yourself. I’m not saying that being the sun is easy–it takes work–but being a tourist brings out the sense that there are things greater than you in the world. This is humbling, but at the same time, my competitiveness takes over and yearns to be more equal to the greatness around me. In response, there is the Serenity Prayer: “God grand me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference,” my dad says this to me all the time. Following his advice, I’ve found that I can’t change how great the things are around me, but I can make myself greater by being better for myself. Hopefully more people try to be the sun for themselves from now on–it would make the world that much brighter…we might need to add more windows to meet our equals.

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Explosive Beverages…

So we all know this science lesson–when a liquid is frozen, its volume is larger than its liquid state. This is because the particles that make up the substance have a specific spot and stay still as a solid, as opposed to twitching and moving as a liquid. Well, this story is a prime example of why NOT to leave liquids in the freezer too long.

Approximately five minutes ago–sitting on the party couch–I heard a thunderous *pop*. The dog–Charlie–was laying on a nearby chair, looked up to me as if saying, “what the heck just happened?” Instantly going into super-spy mode, my first thought was one of three things. 1: is it thundering and lightening outside? 2: Did a huge piece of hail hit the house? 3: (and most terrorizing to think of) SOMEONE SHOT A GUN IN THE HOUSE! Given that the third option went through my head for at least a split second, my heart was pounding. That lasted for all of two minutes as I was pondering what in the world would’ve made such an elaborate boom. It hit me–earlier in the day I’d looked in the freezer and my mom had two canned seltzer waters in there. Instantaneously flushed with relief, and self-laughter, I sauntered over to the freezer in the kitchen. There was indeed a demolished aluminum can and a coating of seltzer-slushie mix over the vegetables and bags of chicken. Cleaning out the freezer with a slight chuckle, I noticed that as the frozen seltzer melted, it sizzled. For some reason, I found this ultra-hilarious. This led to me noticing that the can had a slight deformity…

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The Solid Sizzling Slushie

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Where The Base Exploded

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Never knew that the can would break in a straight line

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Last one…

I couldn’t find the bottom half.

Basically summing up this bit…feel free to laugh at the things you think in times of distress and confusion. If you’re anything like me, this could make your day at least one notch higher on a scale of 1 to 10, because laughing is awesome.

 

Concussion Scarf

Off in another direction. In the midst of the Graduation Week debacle, there was a major milestone upon me–I finished the concussion scarf. So here it is, the story of the concussion scarf.

Last year in the  fall, I was playing aggressively in soccer and was doing well. As a present for my great playing, the opponent gave me the “fantastic” concussion. I only remember snippets of the act, but I remember this much…I was going in for a header and somehow the opponent headed my temple. Instantly after, my vision blurred slightly, and I moved my hand to my head–I’m not sure which hand. My balance was extremely bad, as I felt like my legs were Jell-O. The ref outstretched his hands and blew the whistle right after the accident–he was a good ref. He was talking to me, but the information didn’t quite register. All I remember was him asking if I was okay, and I just groaned. The ref called for my coach, and he came running onto the field. Once he reached me, he wrapped his arm around me, and the only thing I could think of was “I wonder why he put his arm around me, I can walk on my own,” this sounds exactly like me–still being stubborn with a serious head injury. The next thing I knew, Mike–my coach–called out for a cart really loud, and I told him “you’re loud,” and he answered “I know,” with a slight chuckle in his voice. When the cart met me halfway from the sideline, Mike handed me off to Peyton Day’s dad, and we rode in the back of the cart behind the row of parents watching the game. I remember almost falling out of the cart to the sideline and he caught me. Off the field, he went through a series of tests and determined that I had a concussion. For the rest of the game I watched the team play, rambling nonsense–I was slightly delirious. I kept saying, “my brain feels like it’s disconnected from its brainstem.” Fast forwarding to being home, I had discovered that doing anything–even thinking–made my head throb. In consequence, I tried many activities such as coloring, and all of them made my head hurt. As a final solution, I taught myself how to knit, and started the concussion scarf. It took me a year and a half since the beginning of my concussion, and it’s now finished–turquoise, long, and rolled up, but finished.

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At least my concussion was gone a month after starting it!

Graduation Week.

No, no it wasn’t me graduating–it was my oldest brother, Noah. School was out the 19th of May, on a Friday. Glad to be out of school, but that week had been and continued to be hectic. Carrying on to the point–feel free to feast your eyes on the experiences of the Hildreth family on Noah’s Graduation Weekend.

Driver’s Ed. I had to have the course done a day early so we could go on Noah’s Graduation Vacation–but I couldn’t tell Noah that. So as usual, when I’m doing way more than I need to get a job done–in this case, taking notes for Driver’s Ed–Noah comes in and asks why in the world I had 30 pages of notes–literally. Naturally, this led to him asking when it was all due and as I opened my mouth to say that I had to take it early because we were going on vacation on Wednesday, I quickly changed my standpoint to, “I have to take the final a day early because I have a soccer camp on Wednesday,” proud with myself for the quick save, I awarded myself with no more notes for the rest of the lessons. One quick save, and a day later, I rode my fantastically orange bike to the Wamego High School to take my final–approximately 25 minutes later, I was out of there with a 98% in my belt. Because of the great score, I allowed myself to ride off to the Wamego Public Library to pick up a book.

Graduation Day! The night before, as I got up from bed to put away my newly finished concussion scarf, I saw my brother’s gown ironed and hung up on the pantry. Time for bed I told myself, and off into oblivion I was. Awaking the next morning to my mom declaring orders to the family to get everything ready for the day ahead: “walk the dogs, brush your teeth, clean your room, get ready to go.” Though this method of getting things done is annoying, it works. Two hours later, I was decked out in my jumpsuit, and sandals and off to the school to reserve seats with my mom. Fast forwarding three hours of sitting and waiting, it was time for the Graduation Ceremony. Starting off was the fanfare “Pomp and Circumstance” played by the band–also known as me and a whole bunch of other people. Following the fourth time playing the dreaded song, the superintendent spoke, then the principle, then the festivities started…By this I mean that there were multiple singing groups, including songs Proud Mary, I’ll Be There For You, and another song that I can’t remember. Along with the singing groups, the band played a beautiful song, that sounded like something from “Finding Nemo.” Though all of this was nice, the best was yet to come, Noah’s Salutatorian speech. It. Was. Fantastic. Originally five minutes long at home, it ran a little under ten minutes because of the extra applause, and laughter of the crowd. Many people have contacted him and my mother claiming that it was, “the best speech they’ve ever heard.” What made this experience so fantastic for me was watching him give his speech and shine. Noah isn’t usually the kind of person that people get the time to know in High School, but when he got up on the stage he showed every one of the people in his class and the crowd how great he is–without talking about himself in the speech. His main topics were teachers, and what is to come in the future. I am extremely proud to be his sister–I have a lot to live up to.

Now the next portion of the evening is the comical part. Starting with my behind-the-scenes troubles. #1. When I was trying to watch Noah’s speech on the wrestling deck, I had to stand on my tippy toes behind a group of people–and one person didn’t exactly smell like a bed of roses, if you know what I mean. #2. Being the nice sister that I am, I decided to take Noah’s trumpet down to him in the gym. The problem was that I was also carrying a program, my band music, my purse, my trumpet, my mom’s camera bag, and finally his trumpet. To carry all of the cargo in one trip down a fleet of stairs and through hundreds of people, I held things as such. My purse on shoulder, camera bag over back, sheet music and program in left hand between my 3rd and 4th fingers, and finally held my trumpet in my left pointer finger, and Noah’s trumpet in my right hand. Lumbering down the crowded steps and through the rows and rows of crowded seats, I finally made it to my family. #3. Following the pictures in the gym, Noah’s friend took a picture with him and stood close to my family for a while. I happen to like this person, and finally got the courage to give him a high-five and walk away. As I turned over my shoulder with my hand up for a high-five and a gigantic grin, the person had turned his shoulder and walked away…just my luck. As I told my family of the terrible mishap in the car on the way home, my mom broke out into hysterical laughter. Of course my cheeks turned fire-engine red.

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Post-graduation. The night was planned perfectly. My mom arranged for us to eat at Harry’s. I swear that this had ramped up the amazingness of the night 50%. The table was set with an elegant white tablecloth, tiny candles, multiple stacks of plates, and rows of forks, knives, and spoons–not just one of each for the meal. Overcome with the many extra utensils, when my salad portion came, I had to use the tips about table manners from the movie, The Titanic. I repeatedly told myself to use the forks farthest from the plates first, as the person had told Jack in the movie. After getting over my love of the beautiful old theater/restaurant, we drove home to do the next great part of the evening–presents. On a slight side note, my mom–the investigator that she is–kindly confiscated all of my brother’s mail containing cards, and anything else about congratulations for graduating. Back to the evening, this came as a surprise to him as he saw the large stack of letters she brought out to him–all bearing him praise for his accomplishments. The night had ended after the gifts, and everyone slept–for Noah had a state golf meet the next day, and we were going on vacation two days after.

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Before the Graduation

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Noah giving his speech

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The View of the Class

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Noah’s face of glory–when will this be over…

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Leah is too proud of her brother to keep it in.

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I figured that since my grandma loves this picture, I’d share it.

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The only picture with my mom in it.

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Noah and riding friends.

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Harry’s!

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Most of the family together–correction, this is the second picture with my mom in it.

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This is my favorite picture–me attempting to give him a hug–love you Noah, and good luck in college!

The Cap of Optimism

Its one of those nights where I lie awake with a single song in my head…the notes are strung together perfectly–they sound a pleasing melody–there is the part with the deep climax, while still remaining calm; the resolution, where it all seems perfect; then the soft decay, where the next notes seemingly destroy the vision you had created for the beautiful song. It is ironed into the pores of your skin, drumming in your ears, and beating in the folds of your brain. It seems to be looking at you like Derek looks at Meredith on Grey’s Anatomy–supportive, protective, and curious all at the same time. This my friend is the cap of optimism.

It keeps you from falling asleep, thinking about what you need to do, or what you want to be doing. It makes you wonder why you feel this way–even when you know the reason why is just in front of you. Popping up only from time to time, you feel intense fire inside yourself–unstoppable if I may–but at the same time, you are skeptical and yearning to improve oneself. This looks you in the face and is truly a psychosomatic wall between you and your goals. The question is how to get over it.

As previously stated, this is one of those nights for me–11:36 pm and counting and I feel years away from sleep. After being inspired by geniuses on the largely romanticized Grey’s Anatomy that many of us have come to love, it makes me wonder… “what do I want to achieve in life?” While pondering this fact, I see the face of Derek looking at Meredith–supporting my mind to come to its decision, ever so slowly–with the beautiful “moment melody” in the background. Then it clicks–I want to be great. I love so many things, people, and ideas of professions, but still I know–I want to be great–even if I don’t know anything else. The question is how? I am a realist–to some extent–and know that even though I feel smart to myself and feel smart among my peers at a small Kansas school–I am but one mind in a sea of people who are smarter than me. How do I achieve what I want in life, if others are smarter and have the abilities to be greatER? Will I actually become great? Will this feeling go away? I will never know until I do know. Surely I’m not the only one who has felt this way, so here’s my solution for myself….

Though you may never be great, you can try to be great. Work is just work until you strive to have a goal and enjoy getting to your goal. Don’t let what you love become obsolete because you’re wanting to be “as good as” or “the best.” Do what you love and if you become great because you work your tail off on the way–because you love it so much and can’t get enough–then it’ll be an added bonus to the many things that you have to be grateful for.

So there it is, the cap of optimism–truthfully this will be another one of those granny embroidered-sounding quotes, but here it is. Your own passion and determination is great and all to be fantastic, but to be extraordinary–or at least what I’ve rationalized to myself–is to put aside the pressures of your own passion and determination to build on what you’ve started, keep working hard, and most importantly–and best said–“Keep Calm and Carry On,” because when you do that–and can handle the pressure–is when you actually get somewhere.

End time 12:01 am–and now I can finally feel drowsy.

The Story Behind The Logo…

Viewers may or may not have noticed, but my logo is an orange bicycle. Some might wonder – why a bicycle? That’s the question for today….why the orange bicycle.

The story begins a couple of years ago, I wanted a bike. Just proceeding a long year of activities, I went into Big Poppi’s Bike Shop and instantly fell in love with my “Simply 7” Giant Bicycle. The frame was a bright orange – the color of my newest glasses – the tires were heavy-duty with white lining, and the gear shift was unbelievably smooth. I knew this was the one, except it was expensive. Given that I was younger, my parents didn’t have an arm and a leg to spend on a bike, and I didn’t have any money…you can expect what I had to do. The dreaded word – get. a. job.

After working it out, I ended up doing yard work for my grandparents down the street (I wasn’t old enough to get a real job). It was hard work; I had a time chart and I worked for hours each day in the hot summer sun. Some of my daily jobs included pulling weeds, mowing, planting, tilling soil, walking their dog, picking vegetables, pruning bushes and – my least favorite – pulling up the stalks in the flowers. Truthfully, it wasn’t as bad as it seemed though, and I had a good tan that summer.
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(The Tan)

Approximately three months later, I had earned up enough money to buy my bike – and I was ecstatic. The best part was, I knew that I would appreciate it that much more, because I worked to pay for it myself.

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(The Bike)

The moral of the story is that I like to live life working to get better and succeed in accomplishing my goals – just like how I earned my bike.  The second portion of the logo isn’t as complicated, being that E.llie L.auren H.ildreth is my name and the name of the website is E.xploring L.ife H.appily. The point of this setup is to keep the acronym E.L.H. for both, which portrays that I, Ellie Hildreth plan to E.xplore L.ife H.appily. Even better, that’s why I found this most important to share to viewers. People don’t usually look on their phones to feel bad, they want to be entertained and feel good after they’ve finished, so they can go about their day. Maybe next time you see an orange bicycle, you’ll remember to work hard, smile, and E.xplore L.ife H.appily.

Concert Under Cover

Last Weekend, I had the amazing experience to go see John Mayer perform at the Sprint Center with my marvelous mother as a birthday gift. It was a fantastic night, from food to music. Getting down to the main question, why the “Under Cover” portion in the title? Here’s to the greatness of experiences over gifts, no matter how big or small on birthdays.

In my family, we have a loose set of “guidelines” for birthdays. Each child has to choose from a gift, experience, or party to celebrate their day. As expected, there is some wiggle room, depending on the price of what we choose. I am a generally a practical person, and don’t like to ask for things that I don’t feel like I need. That’s why on my birthday, I prefer to ask for experiences as opposed to gifts, because I don’t want to remember a material object, I want to have memories of times that I enjoyed.

Moving on to the memory, here I present April 14, 2017 – John Mayer concert with my mom.

The night before, I was absolutely ecstatic, getting to go out and have some fun – just my mom and I. Setting my alarm for exactly 9:13 am (the off time, because I didn’t feel like setting a new alarm) and went straight to bed. The next morning, I had been deep in REM sleep, and was having an excellent “dream night.” People who know me personally, are aware that my dreams can be quite elaborate, vivid, and entertaining. As one can imagine, given my sleeping circumstances and being a teenager, I turned off my alarm when it disrupted my dreams at 9:13 in the morning. After an hour more of sleeping, I finally had to force myself out of bed when my mom called to tell me to walk the dogs around the block – it was about time that I’d gotten out of bed anyway, to tell you the truth.

Following my awakening, I completed chores and ate breakfast – but no one wants to hear about picking up after small shih tzus and washing dishes. 10:45 am, and I still hadn’t done the main thing…the outfit. Feeling uninspired, I watched DVR of oldies – The Big Bang Theory, and Suite Life of Zach and Cody. 11:30 came round the corner, and I had taken a shower, watched TV, dried my hair, and – surprisingly –  and shaved my legs for the first time in four days (sadly, not my worst I must add), but still no outfit. In attempt to get inspired, I laid out multiple outfits, tried on more, but nothing compared to what I had in mind…it was amazing, a turquoise-sea foam jumpsuit from Wild Man Vintage. It had pleats on either side of the hard, wedding buttons lining the entire midsection. Though it was amazing, there was one problem, I didn’t own this fantastic piece. Everyone who has experienced this feeling knows how restricting it is for the rest of the evening – especially if you like to dress in what you feel like wearing. So hours went by – two to be exact – and still no outfit, though I did put my makeup on and talk to my grandma. By the time my mom got home from work at 1:40, I had not yet made a decision. After around 18 minutes of searching with her and deciding on my backup outfit, I had an epiphany – when thinking about leotards I might add…

Approximately one hour after the fact, there I was, dressed for the night – in EXACTLY what I felt like wearing, missing out on an hour of shopping was totally worth it. Getting in the car, I was wearing my light denim overalls with black Birkenstocks, an assortment of metal jewelry (pictured below), and – best of all – a black shoulder-less turtleneck leotard. The best part about it…I was reusing it from a dance piece from two years ago. An hour had passed our expected time of departure, we were off. In general, the only entertaining part of the car ride was the fact that my mom had me “impersonate” her to change a reservation at a restaurant in May, so I’ll skip to the portion of the evening where we ate at P.F. Chang’s.IMG_0718

(The Jewelry Assortment)

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(En Route To John Mayer)

I don’t know about anyone else, but I love food – especially Asian food. So we walked into P.F. Chang’s in the Plaza, and were seated immediately at a small table for two. In addition to the greatness of finally getting to eat Asian food, I went to the check-in table to ask for a gluten-free menu, and I got a compliment on my overalls. Approximately 30 minutes later, consisting of lots of talking, rice, pork egg rolls, and beef with broccoli, and a flourless chocolate cake, my mom and I decided to explore the Plaza. Walking around in this urban atmosphere, I knew that this was a perfect birthday, especially since I was with my mom.

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(Flourless Cake)

30 minutes later…

We were off to the Sprint Center. Though we made wrong turns at least three times, we eventually made our way to the correct parking garage. Getting out of the car, my mom decided to wear her super-cute wedges instead of Birkenstocks because she was “feeling it.” This is a common phrase between my mom and I. Approaching the Sprint Center, we my mom and I were surprised my a line as far as the eye can see (not even joking). At the same time, my mom and I in code said…”at least we can get a view of all the guys in the line on the way,” as we trekked to the end of the grudgingly long line. Approximately 30 minutes later, we had passed security and were in route to our seats.

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(The Line)

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(The Outfit)

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(The Concert Begins…Nearly A Full House)

Now is the question of the seats…the seats in our section happened to be the size for a small woman, and unfortunately I was the person to sit next to the full-sized man. Everyone has experienced this from time to time – too small seats, and the man next to you has extremely broad shoulders. Yet this minor drawback put a kink in the plan, it still didn’t change how great the concert was, leaning on my mother’s armrest, in the nosebleed section. John Mayer’s portion started approximately an hour from the start of the concert. He started with more metal songs, then proceeded to my favorite – acoustic…which he used an Asian theme for the background (I happen to love Asian culture). Following the acoustic was more heavy songs, then the full band – which was also amazing. This concert was truly a match made in heaven from the geometric designs in the full band portion (I love architecture and symmetrical things), to the theme of the concert…Around The World (I love analyzing different cultures). Though all of these parts are great, my favorite part was the encore when hundreds – maybe thousands of people – were enveloped in darkness, and switched on their phone lights… appearing that there were thousands of glittering fairies around the room, as if to summon the greatest deity ever. Truly a spectacular sight to see.IMG_0724IMG_0726IMG_0725IMG_0727

As a summary, this night was a blast. Music, food, people, and drawbacks included. I wouldn’t have changed a single moment of it. So tying back to the title, “Concert Under Cover,” enjoy the moments, because you can’t ever go back and relive them. Though things are fine and dandy, and also have a place in everyone’s lives, remember that things wear, they go out of style, they break, but memories are truly eternal – especially the good ones. (I know that last line was sounded like it came from Hallmark, but it is true, cherish the moments, though they don’t always seem like the best parts).

Photo Credits:

The last four photos were used from John Mayer’s facebook page to be in this blog post. *Disclaimer* – I did not personally take these photographs.

The Power of Cards…

Cards. These pieces of text are usually on paper, and just something to read to be polite in most cases. Opposing this, I find great enjoyment in these fantastic mediums of words, phrases, and encouragement.

When I was younger – as most others probably did as well – it was standard to open the card first, mumble the words to yourself and everyone else, then quickly move on to the “more interesting” portion of the package. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found more enjoyment in sentiments that are genuine, one example being cards. People sometimes underestimate the importance of telling people simple things such as, “thank you, you’re welcome, please, happy birthday, congratulations, etc.” Even though it may just be another day in the park to someone on the outside, the perspective of the “card receiver” revolves directly around what is going on in their lives (often times). For example, when you try to do something special, and you do it over and over. Time goes by, you are proud of what you’ve done, but no one notices. I bet that most people feel overlooked every once in a while – in the bad times when it seems like this good thing is too daunting, because no one seems to notice. Wouldn’t you rather have a sincere recognition for this thing as opposed to being ignored? Not to say that you need other people’s approval to be happy, but it is generally a nice thing to feel appreciated.

Back to the main point, it is nice to receive cards, but on the other hand it is kind to give cards. The more personal, the better. It can get boring to get the same old happy birthday card every year, so maybe try something as small as writing the things you like about that person on the card, to make it special . Personally, I love to keep cards to remind myself of happy things. I also home-make cards, because I feel that it can stick with a person better, if it is special for them. I also try to reflect the person’s likes, dislikes, and personality through the card. Though this can be a daunting task, it truly does make the person’s day and is something they can remember for a while afterwards. Above all, the most important thing about cards is to make sure they are genuine, just try to keep them positive for the recipient’s sake. No one needs to be put down.

All in all, enjoy the happy message from cards, they can make your day, or someone else’s.

Hitting A Wall…

I don’t know about anyone else, but this phrase is a warning that I might not get off the couch until the next day…

How this relates? People these days – including myself – sometimes put too much pressure on themselves to get things done ALL THE TIME. This is a post on why it is a good option to give in to “hitting a wall” every once in a while.

With the hustle and bustle every day from place to place, operating on too little sleep, and worrying about what will happen tomorrow, people get tired. At times, I can get on such a long run of doing stuff nonstop that I feel guilty not doing anything. Here’s to making yourself relax and getting refreshed until the next time you have to go out again.

Here I present a list of how to do nothing, while doing something.

  1. Paint a picture while watching a movie
    • This way, you’ll be doubly stimulated, but will get the feel of relaxing.img_0646.jpgIMG_0647
  2. Cook/bake and clean up afterwards
    • By doing both, you’ll get the satisfaction of getting something done and eating, but will be calmed that your space is clean as well.FullSizeRender.jpg
  3. Exercise
    • It is scientifically proven that exercising releases endorphins that make people happy. Try a minimum of thirty minutes doing your favorite exercise and you’ll be good to go! It works even better if it’s outside.IMG_0644.JPGIMG_0650.JPG
  4. Hang out by yourself
  • In my personal dictionary, doing nothing translates to being alone. Try jamming out to your favorite tunes, trying out new food, or anything else that’s more fun when no one else is around.
    • I recommend the shuffle option on Pandora, it gives a mixture of all your favorites so you don’t get bored.
  1. Create something on AutoCad, or Autodesk Inventor
    • I don’t know about many of you, but I love to draft new things. In a class I took, I was taught how to use both of these programs in order to “build stuff.” Both programs are free to download, and easy to use. AutoCad looks more like blueprints, where as Inventor is 3D and converts parts to an assembly to a presentation.
      • If you so choose to try out either of these programs and have questions, I’m happy to help. You can comment questions.

Hopefully I gave some fun options to try to fill an empty afternoon! Have a great weekend everyone!

The Glorious Candle…

Fun story for the day…

I’ve always loved candles : the enchanting glow of the flame, pretty wax colors, varying containers, and the many delightful smells. Recently I was out shopping and I decided that I should get a candle to brighten up my days when I’m hanging around the house. “The candle,” you might ask? It is hot pink, in a glass container, single wick, and smells like strawberries. Best of all – it was on sale for $2.00. I have loved this candle ever since I used it the first time. Every day, I walk around the house with my candle – light it – and go about my after school tasks. My favorite memory by far…it was a night over spring break and it was lightly raining outside – and I love rain. Slightly cold outside, I got my sweatshirt, sweatpants, fluffy blanket, book, candle, and matches of course. Walking out to the weather worn deck, the pitter patter of  raindrops was nothing short of a dream. So relaxing – I thought, as I began to read on the iron furniture, facing the wonderfully green backyard and typical serene Kansas field. It was simply dreamy. So that’s the latest story of the glorious candle…as it never fails to light up my day. IMG_0628.JPG