Tuesday, November 18, 2014

L.A. Nights and Lights

There is this magical place just two hours south of Santa Barbara called Los Angeles, and I like to spend a lot of time there.

I spent this weekend in L.A. looking at schools (look out for that post) but found some time to have fun in the city!
I went with a friend to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Santa Monica, which was one of the weirdest yet full-of-life amateur performances I've seen.

It's one thing if you've seen the movie or a play production, but at this event they play the movie while they reenact it on a stage. The best part is that it's huge on audience participation, some people have seen over 100 performances!

They invite audience members to play non-speaking parts and sometimes have games before the show (which begins at midnight). My experience was fun because I knew all the words to the songs, which I recommend memorizing before seeing. Overall, it was a really fun experience and I'd totally go again.

One of the coolest neighborhoods in L.A. is Los Feliz. When I'm older and making a lot of money, I'm definitely going to buy a mansion in Los Feliz. It's filled to the brim with hipsters, but the houses are beautiful and there are neat little restaurants downtown. Also, you can bet on seeing a celebrity every once in a while!

A really cool spot is a 24-hour diner called Fred 62. The people watching potential is amazing and the food is pretty good, too.

The last spot I visited was Grand Central Market, in the heart of downtown L.A. It's essentially a warehouse filled with local vendors. There's supposedly a place where they serve kombucha on tap (say whaaaat) and an....oyster bar?

In Santa Barbara there's the farmer's market and the Santa Barbara Public Market on Victoria street, which remind me of GCM.

I always love going out of town and going new places, but I was only gone for three days and missed Santa Barbara dearly. The best part is that when I'm itching to getaway for a while, L.A. is just around the corner, so students should really take advantage of its proximity!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lectures - are they worth the time?

The really cool thing about being a student of higher education is that you get invited to lectures all the time, ranging in subjects from physics to journalism.

I would call myself a nerd, but I've seen a lot of students attend these lectures (yes, sometimes professors give extra credit for attending, which is obviously a huge plus) but I've never heard anyone say, "Wow, that was a waste of my time. I can't believe I wasted my attention on seeing a public figure give a speech that didn't inspire me."

I've seen two lectures so far this year, but I saw a few last year as well. The first speaker I heard was Kim Phuc, a famous ambassador for world peace. You may know her from this photo that brought to attention the innocent faces who faced the consequences of war:
Photo taken by Nick Ut during the Vietnam War (1972)
Kim was just nine years old when she and her village were bombed by napalm that gave her scars she still sees today.

She spoke on forgiving your enemies and how we should all strive to end war. The event was held by 2020 A Year Without War and I am really glad I had the opportunity to see such an inspiring person speak for free, which most lecture series for college students are free or discounted.

The second lecture I attended was Ann Louise Bardach, a veteran journalist who rose to prominence when she interviewed Fidel Castro.
Seriously, I want to be her when I'm older.
She had an incredible career as an editor at Vanity Fair for ten years, wrote for the New York Times straight out of college and has written a large number of books on Cuba and Miami.

She spoke about what it takes to be a successful journalist and the complexities of the industry, from journalists being killed to getting your own foot to the door. I find the prospect of writing for a major publisher very exciting, so I really enjoyed her lecture!

Seriously, if you are in academia or just want to round your mind, visit a lecture once in a while! There are tons on college campuses and can be a great source of entertainment and can give you some new perspectives on life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

rock the vote!

Despite my hectic schedule I managed to find time today to get out and vote! 

This was my first time voting in an election and it was pretty daunting looking at that long list of names knowing that I had some factor in choosing their (and my own as a citizen) fate.

I voted at the church down my street and all the poll workers were very nice and didn't judge me when I couldn't get the ballot into the box. It felt so cool practicing my rights as an American citizen and playing a part in the democratic process. 

I encourage everyone to go out and vote!  Your vote does matter and if you don't vote,  you can't complain. A lot of people feel that their vote doesn't count and they believe they have no political efficacy but when you look back in history it's groups people who made progress. It's also important to let history know that the sacrifices made by earlier generations were worth it, because there was a time when certain demographics weren't allowed to vote. So go out and vote!  

Plus, you'll get a really cool sticker.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's the Great Pumpkin.....Patch!

Gosh, this week was so crazy. I had to work a lot and had two midterms in one day! Thankfully that week is over now and to celebrate my roommates and I took a trip to our local pumpkin patch. 
Nine, Carly, and I getting a sun tan in OCTOBER!
There is an array of pumpkin patches to choose from in the Santa Barbara area, but I had heard a lot of referrals about Lane Farms  and decided to check it out. It's off of Hollister in Goleta and you won't miss it because of the signs they have put up and it's hard to miss the pile of pumpkins just hanging out on the side of the road. 

The place was so cute; you park behind their store, which is filled with seasonal fruits and veggies and other local produce like honey and avocado oil. Behind their store is a corn maze, a miniature barn for their animals, and the pumpkin patch itself. They have other cool attractions such as a water pump and restored antique cars.

Farm life on the coast.
My favorite part of our visit (except for the cool recipe list they have for free, if I get motivated enough I'll make some soup or pie!) was definitely the CORN MAZE!! 
Corn fields with palm trees in the background, ha!
Yes, we did get lost. Yes, we did enter through the exit and exit through the entrance. No, we did not have to pay a crazy fee or get stuck in there for hours. Overall, our trip to Lane Farms was fun, inexpensive (my modest pumpkin cost me a mere $4, they charge by size, not weight) and made some great memories. I definitely recommend making a stop by if you want to bond with your friends, and it's kid friendly too!

I even got a taste of home; Idaho is filled with farms and corn fields and seeing the agrarian side of Santa Barbara made up for the lack of Fall weather we get here. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Villa in Malibu

On Saturday I took a trip with the SBCC Art Department to the Getty Villa museum in Malibu. I must admit, I do not know a lot about Roman or Greek art, but the art and architecture were exquisite.

The Getty Villa, overlooking the Pacific, is a great replication of Classical architecture. There's even an herb garden with herbs native to the Mediterranean, my favorite was the lemon scented thyme!
J. Paul Getty purchased land in Malibu to showcase his art collection, with an emphasis in Greek and Roman periods. How amazing would it be to live in a place that looks like this, surrounded by art works that were at your disposal?

Art is an element of culture that refines and gives substance to an individual. At any museum, the Villa being no exception, I feel very artsy fartsy and educated (I'm taking ART 104: Art History from Renaissance to Modern, so I had some background knowledge of sculpture, architecture, and art methods).

Venus, a marble statue from Rome. 
Victorious Youth, a Greek bronze sculpture.

If you have some spare time, visit a museum! It could be art or historical, but they are so much fun because you get to learn and see some of the most spectacular things. Plus, they're mostly free for students and you end up only having to pay for parking.

Culture is meant to be appreciated! Southern California is bustling with cultural centers and world famous museums. Who wants to say they lived two hours away from Los Angeles and never visited the Norton Simon Museum or the Getty Center? Not I, that's why I am going to make it a point to visit those two by the end of the year.
This vase reminded me of Hercules. Fun Fact! Hercules is actually Roman, the Greek version of Hercules is named Heracles (Your childhood was lie, basically).
This floor was an optical illusion and I could not stop staring at it!

Wherever you live there is probably a museum of some sort. If you think museums are boring, read the plaques on sculptures you see in local parks or go exploring in your grandparent's basement, I'm sure there are some cultural artifacts in there!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

my music recommendations!

This is how I feel at the end of a day where I had work and class:
Who doesn't love Chandler from Friends?

I didn't get off work until 9:30 tonight (and it was relatively slow, making it a harder shift to get through) so it was hard for me to think of a post to write to entertain all the awesome people who read my blog.

So, instead of sharing what cool things I did this week (which hasn't been much...it's midterms!!), I thought I'd share something I'm really passionate about: music!

Here are some of my recommendations, what I've been playing on repeat lately:

The Shins - Sea Legs - To be honest, I haven't looked into what the lyrics or meaning behind this song is, but I know that I love it. The Shins are always great when the air gets crisper, their melodies make you feel like you could float through the air and their experimental sound is so much fun.

Jose Gonzalez - Stay Alive - If you watched the remake of Walter Mitty, you'll have a greater appreciation for Jose Gonzalez. His songs are beautiful, yet simple that when I listen to them I don't know if I want to smile or cry.

Portugal. The Man - Modern Jesus - This song says that it's better to have faith in yourself rather than a "higher being" but no matter your religious beliefs, this song is so cool.

Disclosure - You and Me (Flume Remix) - Only one phrase can explain why this song is so popular and heard in every coffee shop I've been to in the past year: that drop.

Milky Chance - Stolen Dance - Fun fact! The band has confirmed that their name means absolutely nothing. Also, this song is great and makes me want to have an impromptu dance session with myself while making my morning eggs.

The Dirty Projectors - Stillness is the Move - An oldie (2009), but a goodie. That girl's falsetto is hands-down one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard.

Taylor Swift - Out of the Woods - Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but this has got to be one of the best pop songs of 2014.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin spice and everything nice

It even comes in a cute little container :)

I know this may be hard for a lot of people to believe, but my life can be pretty boring sometimes.

I stayed in for most of the weekend and tried to put the feeling of fall into my apartment. Fall is my favorite season and, while the leaves do change color, it's hard to feel like autumn when it's 75 degrees!

I stayed in for most of the weekend and tried to put the feeling of fall into my apartment. Fall is my favorite season and, while the leaves do change color, it's hard to feel like autumn when it's 75 degrees!
I love the lace and how it projects light onto my walls!

I made a trip to my favorite place on the entire planet, Trader Joe's, and bought some new tea to restock my tea drawer (every apartment should have a tea drawer). Since I was really diggin' their pumpkin theme, I picked up a container of their Pumpkin Spice Rooibos. Rooibos tea typically tastes like cough medicine to me, so I was a little bit skeptical to try this new blend.

Oh boy was I wrong! With cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice...this blend makes me want to curl up in a blanket and watch Charlie Brown while eating pumpkin pie. 

Hopefully I'll be heading to the pumpkin patch soon to fully submerge myself in the autumn experience. Happy fall everybody, and may you all enjoy the best season of the year!