It’s that time again!

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It’s time to say goodbye for the summer. That’s good, because summers should be spent outside while the weather is great, not in front of a computer. Unless of course you’re binging the new seasons of True Detective or Orange is the New Black! If you’re doing that, I commend you!

I’m really looking forward to this summer for many reasons. My girlfriend is back in town from her school in New York, and she’s transferring to Berkeley in August! A couple of my best friends are also coming back for the summer and we’re already making some fun plans for trips. As discussed in a previous blog of mine I’m going to see many of my favorite bands this summer: The Tallest Man On Earth, The Mountain Goats, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Purity Ring. Studio space is open to volunteers in the art department, so I’ll have a good place to work on my artwork during the break. I’ll be working a steady job over the summer, which has never been the case for me, and that’ll help out a lot.

Mostly I’m just excited for the chance to spend time with people I care about and rest up before I enter my last year of college. I hope you all have wonderful summers, whether you’re taking classes or not. Let me know what your plans are in the comments!

I’ll see you all on the other side! August, I mean. The other side of the summer. Stay safe guys.

Dancing Queen

On the list of activities I thought I would be participating in on my Saturday night, watching a dance performance was not one of them. Especially since this is the basically the extent of my dancing ability:

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My friend and coworker invited me to attend the Dance Culmination Concert at the MainStage Theatre because a friend of his was performing. We arrived slightly late and entered the theatre right before the show, and my fear was that I was going to feel like a parent going to see their child perform in an awful school play.

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At first I was not super invested in the performance, but I was there to support my friend. By the time got into the sixth of eighteen performances, I found myself tapping my foot and really having a good time. The performers seemed to be having a lot of fun for the most part, and the dancers covered everything from Rocky Horror Picture Show to Mamma Mia, completing with a medley involving all the dancers under a disco ball. I left having enjoyed myself by surprise, which is often the case when I attend live performances on campus. I highly recommend challenging yourself to go see a live performance you wouldn’t normally see on campus.

Who knows, you might enjoy yourself by surprise!

Senior Art Show

Hey everyone! I’m just popping in to give you a little update concerning the Senior Art Show that occurred last night . I’m sure some of you already know about this, but for those of you who don’t, here’s the low down! (Did I really just say low down?)

For BA art students and BFA students alike, there comes a time when we look forward to graduation and must meet a bunch of little requirements before we can move on to the next step in our artistic careers. One of those requirements is participation in the Senior Art Show. Now one of my previous blog posts revealed that I am not going to be graduating in fall like I previously thought I was, but I decided that I would still participate in this year’s show. It’s good experience, and I get to add a show to my resume!

For this year’s show I decided to submit one of my paintings that I created earlier in the semester, “Consider The Tetrapod.”

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The show was at the Art Space on Main and consisted of a half hour of looking at the amazing art the BFA students submitted, and then an artist talk where every one of us came up and commented on our work. The show was pretty packed, and all of the art looked great displayed in the gallery. It was so awesome to see my paintings up there!

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While I do still have a year left here, it was bittersweet to see a lot of people who are going to be leaving soon talk about their amazing work, and I’ll miss them all. If any of you are interested in seeing some more senior art work, the BA show is this next Thursday in the University Art Gallery at six! Feel free to stop on by!

 

My sort of short review of Avengers: Age of Ultron

It’s been a while since I’ve done a movie review on my blog, but anyone who doesn’t live under a very large rock knows Avengers: Age of Ultron has been a very highly anticipated film for practically the whole movie-watching world. Now I know I probably don’t need to say this, but I’m a huge fan of these movies. I’m a massive comic book fan, so I’ve been following the Marvel uphill climb to success for quite a few years.

Thursday night was the debut of the eleventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and here’s my little review on it:

The writing: When we’re talking about Joss Whedon and his writing partners it’s never a surprise to say the dialogue is top notch. It’s what Whedon does best, and it excels at being both funny and heart felt in this film. Much like the first Avengers the humor abounds, and I appreciate that about these movies.

The acting: This is an all star cast, and I’m not even going to list them because it would be ridiculous. Needless to say the acting is great all around, even with a couple bad accents to deal with.

The action: The action is pretty much non-stop, to the point that it sometimes gets to feel like it’s a bit too much. Some of the action scenes feel slight over long, but they are very well choreographed and rendered, and in a movie like this you expect to see Hulk smashing and Iron Man…ironing?

The story: There are some odd turns to strange subplots that are definitely set up to hint toward future Marvel movies and ideas, so at times the plot feels like a bit much, but overall it does feel like it comes together into something enjoyable and worthwhile.

I won’t go for too much longer. While I had some simple complaints with the movie I definitely recommend it to anyone who’s at all interested in seeing it, as it really is a great time at the theater.

Have you seen Avengers 2? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Earth Day

The day known as Earth Day, April 22, was branded as such in 1970. The function of the day is to bring awareness and education to people regarding ways we can treat our planet better. It’s easy to think of our little blue marble as invincible, especially when we feel so small as individual humans. The facts are stacking up, though, and they are letting us know that our home is a lot more fragile than we like to think. Now these facts are a little scary and I don’t want to bring this blog down too much, but I feel like Earth Day is the day to inform people. Information can be a little scary sometimes:

1. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are at a record high: greater than 400 ppm

Sources: NOAA (http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/tre… Mashable (http://mashable.com/2014/04/08/carbon… 350.org (http://400.350.org/)

2. We dump 19.4 billion pounds of plastic into the ocean every year

Sources: Science Mag study (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/347… Mashable (http://mashable.com/2015/02/19/plasti…)

3. An estimated 18 million acres of forest are lost each year

Source: FAO (http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/am859e/… Live Science (http://www.livescience.com/27692-defo…)

4. Earth is facing a 40% shortfall in water supply by 2030

Sources: UNESCO (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-… FAO (http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/…)

5. Climate change-related extreme events, plus population growth, could increase hunger by up to 20% by 2050

Source: WFP (http://www.wfp.org/climate-change)

6. September Arctic sea ice extent is declining at a rate of 13.3% per decade

Sources: NASA (http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/a… AND http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/septem… NSIDC (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/)

7. Earth is off to its warmest start on record

Sources: NOAA (https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/); Mashable (http://mashable.com/2015/04/17/earth-…)

Thanks to Mashable for those facts!

I don’t want to just leave you all feeling depressed on Earth Day. Earth Day is also about celebrating our lovely planet and thinking of ways we can improve our actions and make it a healthier place! For that reason, I did some research and found some good resources for you all!

Make-Earth-Day-Everyday-InfographicThere are also some great websites you can go to to see videos and literature related to Earth Day.

Earth Day Network

Earth Day Lessons

Check those links out and let me know what you learn! What are you already doing to help out our planet? Give me some tips in the comments!

Going with the flow.

Recently I came to a decision about my near future, and since then I’ve been working on maintaining an optimistic view of the situation. Frankly…

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While I definitely see the benefits of change, it still freaks me out a bit! I was doing the math the other day after my advising appointment, and I realized with a sinking feeling that I still have twenty-one units left until I’m able to graduate with my BFA degree. At first I was pretty nervous and disappointed by this idea. I had been under the impression that I was going to be graduating in the fall, and was suddenly coming to the realization that I was not going to be doing that.

I immediately began to think of a plan, and realized that not everything about this revelation was bad. All it meant was that I would be graduating and walking the stage in the Spring. That would give me more time to work on my art and prepare myself for applying to grad school. I’m living in a great town with great roommates and going to a wonderful school, so the pros really began to outweigh the cons. I quickly realized that this was just another situation where I needed to go with the flow before letting myself become overwhelmed and pessimistic about the situation. I always tell people that I would not be able to survive if I was a pessimist, and it’s really true, I would simply be a nervous wreck.

Have you had an experience recently where you had to remind yourself to go with the flow? What happened? Let me know in the comments!

Song I’m blogging to: “Simple Math” by Manchester Orchestra.

Spring Break 2015

Hey everyone, how’s it going?! I feel like it’s been forever! Then again, I’ve had a busy past couple weeks, so it makes sense. This spring break was a much needed one. I’ve been completely swamped with work and school, and having a couple days to relax, sleep in, and do what I want has been like paradise for me.

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Here are some of the things I’ve done:

  • Went to see “It Follows”. (Good movie, I recommend it for people who are looking for an intelligent movie and less of a scare).
  • Played a lot of video games. Mostly GTA V. (Guilty pleasure game).
  • Had an impromptu barbecue. (Mix onion soup fixings into your burger, it’ll change your life).
  • Explored the campus at night. (The place really feel different when it’s empty).
  • Started a Chia Pet. A zombie chia pet. (I’ve always wanted on of these since I was a kid).
  • Slept. (So nice).
  • Slept. (Pretty great).
  • Slept. (Okay it’s time to get up).
  • Read Batman comics! (Na na na na na na na na Batman!)
  • Watched House of Cards. (Kevin Spacey is the man!)

That’s basically been my spring break! I have never really done anything crazy for spring break, and that’s always been fine with me. Some people take trips or party, and I’m normally just using the time to catch up on sleep and get some time to myself. Tomorrow marks the end of my break, as I’m going back to work, but I can really say the time off has been really good for me. I’m not entirely ready for school to start up, but hey, no one ever is! I am ready to get the end of this semester finished, though! So tell me, what have you all been up to this spring break? Have you had any adventures? Let me know in the comments!

 

So many shows!

I love going to see bands live, and I’ll be the first to admit I don’t do it too often. Shows can be expensive, and most of the good ones pop up in San Francisco and in southern California. I normally don’t even drive further than Ripon, so driving to the bay all the time for shows doesn’t really work for me. My girlfriend and I are always searching the tour pages for our favorite bands, though, just in case one comes close and we get the chance to see some great artists perform. Normally I’m disappointed, because my favorite performers are usually touring in Europe when I have free time and moolah for concerts. Through some crazy happenstance and a dark ritual, though, the stars have aligned so that I will be going to see four shows in the span of two months!

 

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These are some of my favorite bands, and I’m extremely excited to be seeing them! Needless to say, it’s going to be an amazing summer. Have you been to any concerts recently? If so, who did you see? Let me know in the comments!

Spring Sickness

Coughing, sneezing, aching, the inability to taste my favorite foods…spring sickness has really become a tradition for me. Almost without fail I catch something between the beginning of Spring and Easter Sunday. A few years ago it was a bad case of the flu, and since then it’s mostly been nasty colds that start out innocently and evolve into this:

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Of course, this year was no different. My girlfriend blames herself for giving me the cold, but given my track record, I think I would have gotten something anyway! I am taking up arms this year, though, and valiantly fighting this crazy cold demon inside of me. Here are my tips for dealing with that spring sickness:

Vitamins: I recommend taking vitamins every day of the year, because in the long run it’ll hopefully help you avoid sickness in the first place. In a world where gummy vitamins are a thing, is there an excuse not to be taking them?

Airborne: This stuff is really great. It’s an emergency immune system boost you can get from the store, and it comes in either tablets or gummies. Again, GUMMIES.

A lot of water: Stay hydrated! I know this can be difficult, especially when your head feels like it’s going to explode. You definitely need to keep your body filled with that agua it needs, though!

Sudafed or Dayquil: These things exist to help you through this trying time! Just be careful with them, and try not to overdo it. Read the labels!

Cough drops: They’re like candy that makes you feel better! Seriously, just keep a handful of cough drops and tissues in your pockets. Treat your pants or bag like a utility belt and fill those pockets with every cold-fighting weapon you can think of.

REST: Seriously, go to sleep. I’m guilty of ignoring this device, but resting up is really one of the most important parts of getting over a cold.

Positive attitude: This really helps me. Just keep a positive attitude and know that you’re going to get through this, with the help of your good friends here:

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Do you have any tips for getting over sickness? Do you have any household remedies? Let me know in the comments!

Old and New Habits

They say old habits die hard. I don’t know who ‘they’ are, but wow they were quite right. We all have habits, they make up the structure of our lives. Not all of our habits are bad, but I think we all have at least a couple we would like to trim out of our daily routines. Maybe you’re in the midst of trying to start a new habit, like gym-going or immunizing yourself to poisons through small doses in your morning cereal!

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Either way, habits are a difficult beast.

Personally, I’m working on two habits at the moment. On the healthier side of the coin, I’m trying to eat foods that are better for me and higher in protein. This goes hand in hand with ny habit I’ve been trying to cultivate of gojng to tbe gym. Some weeks I do better than others! Onthe other side of the coin, I’m trying my best to cut back on my intake of my favorite soda, MountainDew. Now, I’m not looking to completely stop doing the dew. I just wanf to start putting the money I spend on the drink toward more important things.

This brings me to my main point for this blog post. In order to ween myself off of Mountain Dew, I have to have a good motivation. For me, I am starting to put those Dew dollars toward gas for my car, a slightly more valuable liquid! A habit is much easier to make or break when you can see or feel results. This is not always immediate, which is why habits like exercise can be difficult. The feeling of starting a healthy habit or ending an unhealthy habit is a great feeling though, and can help carry you to the point where you see the results you are looking for.

This post is a bit open ended and ready for suggestions. Do you have any tips on making or breaking habits? I would love to hear them!